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GERMAN BARBARISM 



GERMAN BARBARISM 

A NEUTRALS INDICTMENT 



BY 

LEON MACCAS 

DOCTOR OF LAW OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS 



WITH PREFACE BY 

M. PAUL GIRARD 

OF THE INSTITUT DC rRANCE 



HODDER AND STOUGHTON 

LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO 
MCMXVI 




Printed m Great Britaiw by 
Richard Clay & Sons, Limitbd, 

BRXmswiCK ST., STAMFORD ST., S.E., 
AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK. 






PREFACE 

This new volume on Germany's conception and 
practice of war is the work of a neutral, a fact which 
would alone suffice to secure it our sympathies. More- 
over, it is a book which is systematically arranged, 
based on documentary evidence, serious and obviously 
sincere, qualities too weighty not to compel the respect 
not only of the French public, but of all those, to 
whatever nationaUty they may belong, who may care 
to read it or merely to glance through it with an 
unprejudiced eye. 

The author is a Greek, who loves France and who 
knows her. He knows her because he has lived there ; 
he is not blind to her weak points, but having been 
early captured by her, he knows the profound mistake 
into which a stranger falls who is content to judge 
her by appearances : he has fathomed the depths of 
her character and discovered the inexhaustible resources 
of will and energy concealed beneath an apparent, yet 
much exaggerated, levity. It is for this reason that 
in the dread crisis through which she is passing, and 
from which, as he well knows, she will emerge victori- 
ous, he has been willing to fight on our side, at least 
with the pen. Let us thank him, and may our grati- 
tude extend beyond him to his noble country, to that 
Greece whose feelings have long been known to us, 
who has not changed them, notwithstanding the ebb 

394705 



x^«>V^^R^« «Ar>« 



vi PREFACE 

and flow of her domestic policy or of transitory in- 
fluences, and who will not change them, we are 
convinced : otherwise she would not be Greece. 

So much for the author of these pages which we 
are about to read. When I add that M. Leon Maccas 
belongs to the best society in Athens : that while still 
very young he won the degree of doctor of law in his 
own country by a remarkable thesis ; that he came to 
us with the intention of pursuing further, thanks to 
the assistance which we can give him, his studies in 
international law and diplomatic history, I shall have 
concluded a very inadequate introduction of author 
to reader. 

As for the contents of this volume, what is the good 
of dwelling upon them ? It is an established fact, at 
the present moment, that the Germans have intro- 
duced into war a new law, a new morality. This law 
and this morality are obviously contrary to the ideas 
which humanity has hitherto formed of these great 
subjects and to the impulses which urged and still urge 
humanity to endeavour to mitigate the permissible 
sufferings and horrors which war between civilised 
nations entails. The Germans have taken quite a 
different line. They appear to have made it their 
business to practise everywhere, in different forms, the 
abuse of force. It is a method, and one, too, which 
has something spacious about it. But a method is 
something which confesses or proclaims itself. We 
do not blush for a method, we blush for an unpre- 
meditated, precipitate act, not for conduct coldly 
calculated with the purpose of attaining a supreme 
end, the righteousness of which justifies everything 
in the thought of those who aim at it. What is the 
meaning, then, of all these shufflings, these denials. 



4i& 



PREFACE vii 

disputings or flimsy vindications of facts ? Why these 
shameless apologies among neutrals? Why these 
pamphlets, these articles scattered broadcast over two 
hemispheres, these idyllic pictures of movements of 
German troops to whom the peasants, peasants of 
France, express (in a language which betrays clumsy 
falsehood) their good wishes for a safe return to their 
native land. Why all this effort, if not from the 
necessity to justify themselves, a necessity which in 
these souls who profess to be emancipated from the 
vain prejudices of the world is even stronger and 
more deeply rooted than the desire to compel every- 
thing by force ? Is not this necessity the clearest and 
most invaluable of admissions ? 

But that is not the whole story. By a contradiction 
which would have something grotesque about it if 
the tale of bloodshed and destruction made such an 
expression permissible, those who every day shame- 
lessly violate the law of nations are the first to protest 
with impassioned vehemence against what in their 
opponents they assert to be a violation of the law of 
nations, as if the right to trample right under foot 
was a privilege of Germany. I am well aware that 
on that point also we are critical, " but even though 
there were some motive for being critical, a thing 
which is by no means proven, we must admit that a 
nation which has signed certain declarations designed 
to mitigate as far as possible the severities of war, 
and which, as soon as it becomes belligerent, no longer 
holds itself bound by these same declarations, is not 
justified in trying to pose as punctilious in the matter. 

The only result of all this is hatred, stubborn in- 
vincible hatred, which neither peace nor victory will 
destroy. Some Germans, it is said, are beginning to 



Tiii PREFACE 

be anxious about it; others are getting used to it, 
provided that with hate they reap the harvest of 
fear; but it is a mistaken calculation, because love, 
or, if you like, a minimum of sympathy, is necessary 
for the daily round of that common life which we call 
international relations. Force, admitting that those 
who have it at their disposal can always count upon 
it, is powerless to bind nations together, and by force 
I understand not merely material force, but a spiritual 
force, such as is, for example, science, of which Germany 
is so justly proud. If hatred persists, fostered as a 
religious duty, kindled in the sacred fire of memory, 
there is no security possible for him who is the object 
of it : it is the flaw which silently threatens with 
sudden destruction the steel upon which so much 
reliance is placed. 

Woe to the nation which makes itself hated ! 

Paul Girard. 



INTRODUCTION 

The reader will find in the pages which we herewith 
offer him a detailed picture of the cruelties committed 
by Germany in the war which involves half the nations 
of Europe. 

In this war, which she let loose upon the world, 
Germany is not attacking merely armies and fortresses. 
She takes her victims even from the civil population, 
and systematically harries even the property of private 
individuals. She revives under our eyes the times of 
Attila : to every soldier whom she dispatches against 
her enemies she recalls the saying of the Scourge of 
God that *' wherever he rode there the grass must 
cease to grow." She devotes herself to pillage and 
destruction; aye, and to pollution and desecration. 
From her captains, her leaders, her diplomats down to 
her plain citizens and private soldiers she has dis- 
closed her barbarous spirit, her base instincts; under 
the blazing light of the devouring flames which she 
has kindled she lays broad the infamous groundwork 
and shameful foundations of what she dares to call 
her civilisation, and which, on the plea of its superiority, 
she claims to impose upon the whole universe. 

Great towns have perished in the flames by her 
hands, with all the treasures of science, art and industry 
which they contained; innumerable districts, less 
populous but no less prosperous, have likewise been 
plundered, looted and abandoned to the ravages of 
fire and sword; whole regions have been laid waste 



X INTRODUCTION 

without a shadow of military necessity; thousands 
of peaceful residents, and harmless citizens of these 
areas, priests and women, children and old folk, have 
been shot, killed, executed, martyred; women and 
young girls have been violated and subjected to the 
most frightful tortures ; prisoners have been ill-treated 
or even shot; the wounded have been dispatched on 
the field of battle; young people below the military 
age have been carried off to Germany and treated as 
prisoners at common law. In the field, the German 
armies have been guilty of shameful acts of treachery : 
weapons forbidden because they cause horrible wounds 
have been used without scruple and without shame. 
Towns have had monstrous levies imposed upon them, 
which they had to pay on penalty of seeing their 
inhabitants massacred. And these things were re- 
peated everywhere : in Belgium, in France, in Poland, 
in Galicia, in Serbia. Fire, sword, bloodshed, dis- 
honour, slaughter, murder, torture have been flaunted 
before the eyes of astonished Europe. 

That is the story we are going to tell. And with 
the evidence in the case ready to hand, we shall draw 
a picture of German barbarism. We shall appeal to 
the civilised world and ask it to reflect upon the 
monstrous exhibition of the instincts, the character 
and the principles of the German nation, which claimed 
to be gifted with fine feelings and to be punctilious 
about morals. The facts which will be narrated to 
the reader will pass judgment upon this claim. In 
face of the flattering or mendacious pleas, circulated 
for the last fifty years by Germany herself or by her 
dupes, this book, the author is fully persuaded, will 
but anticipate the verdict of history. 



CONTENTS 



CHAF. PAGB 

I THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR .... I 

II GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED ON THE 

PLEA OF REPRISALS ..... 7 

III THE GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS . . 1 7 

IV OUTRAGES COMMITTED BY GERMAN AUTHORITIES 

AND PRIVATE PERSONS AGAINST ENEMY SUB- 
JECTS 30 

V OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS • • • 35 

VI GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED IMPLEMENTS OF WAR 42 

VII GERMAN TREACHERY ON THE BATTLEFIELD . . 50 

VIII BOMBARDMENT OF UNDEFENDED TOWNS. CRIMES 
COMMITTED DURING BOMBARDMENT. DEFINITION 
OF BOMBARDMENT ..... 55 

IX KILLING OF THE WOUNDED BY GERMANS . . 83 

X ILL-TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR . . 97 

XI THE MURDER, TORTURE AND VIOLATION OF WOMEN 

IN INVADED TERRITORY . . . . I04 

XII OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN, OLD PEOPLE AND 

PRIESTS ....... 117 

xi 



xii CONTENTS 

CHAP. pa(;e 

XIII OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS AND FRANCSTIREURS . 1 34 

XIV SYSTEMATIC ARSON. DESECRATION OF CHURCHES . 171 

XV SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT. ROBBING THE 

WOUNDED AND THE DEAD . . . • 185 

XVI DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY. CONCLUSION . 2l6 



CHAPTER I 
the german theory of war 

The Custom of War 

Eternal peace is a chimera. Whatever pains we 
may take to avoid war, there always comes a moment 
when tradition and interest, passion and affection 
clash and bring to pass the shock which we desired 
to avoid, a shock which, in the conditions within 
which civilisation evolves, appears not merely inevit- 
able, but salutary. So we see that philosophers and 
historians have generally spoken of war as a necessary 
evil. 

But just because of the services which war is called 
upon to render at certain times, it is important not 
to keep it apart from all the wholesome, righteous 
and moral ideas disseminated by civilisation, some 
of which are an age-long gain to society. The evils 
which war brings with it must be reduced as much 
as possible. A state of war, disastrous in itself, must 
be made subject to laws, approved by righteousness 
and morality, laws which experience has shown to be 
practicable and salutary. 

These laws are in effect the international conscience 
of civilised nations. They are the laws of humanity. 
In every case where military necessity is not abso- 
lutely involved, the nations demand that these laws 
should be set in motion. To reduce the enemy to 

B 



2 . THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR 

impotence; .to makf;: it impossible for him to resist, is 
the aim of benigererits : but to attain that end there 
is no need to disown humanity. A war humanely 
conducted may be speedily brought to an end. Often, 
even, it attains its end more quickly by declining to 
exasperate the enemy and by conciliating opinion. On 
the other hand, by resorting to terrorism and attacking 
the enemy's dearest, most cherished and most sacred 
possessions — the lives of non-combatants, private 
property, works of science and art, the good name of 
families, religion — you renew his power of resistance, 
increase his moral strength, and infuse into him the 
spirit of hatred and vengeance. 

German Military Writers* Theory of War 

German military writers have paid no attention to 
that. In the picture which they have drawn of force, 
they have left no room for justice and moderation, 
which alone make it worthy of respect and bring about 
lasting results. The triumph, such as it is, of violence, 
bounds their whole horizon. Clausewitz, an author 
who has the ear of Germany, writes, " War knows 
only one means : force. There is no other : it is 
destruction, wounds, death, and this resort to brutal 
force is absolutely imperative. As for that right of 
nations, about which its advocates talk so much, it 
imposes on the purpose and right of war merely 
insignificant and, so to speak, negligible, restrictions. 
In war every idea of humanity is a blunder, a dangerous 
absurdity. The violence and brutality of combat 
admit no kind of limitation." 

*' Let France reflect upon the words of one who 
has been called * an immortal teacher,' " says a 



THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR 3 

celebrated commentator of the same Clausewitz, Baron 
Bronsard de Schellendorf, a former Prussian Minister 
of War, in another work (France under Arms). And 
this author adds, " If civiHsed nations do not scalp 
the vanquished, do not cut their prisoners' throats, 
do not destroy towns and villages, do not set fire to 
farms, do not lay waste everything in their path, it 
is not from motives of humanity. No, it is because 
it is better policy to ransom the vanquished and to 
make use of productive territories." 

The author does not ask himself if, always from this 
point of view, no other limitations to the brutalities 
of war are imposed upon thoughtful people, limita- 
tions which are in conformity with well-understood 
interest, and which at the same time would win the 
approbation of righteousness and humanity. Wholly 
obsessed by the coarse intoxication of his principle of 
absolute violence, he adds — 

** The style of old Clausewitz is a feeble affair. He 
was a poet who put rosewater into his inkpot. But it 
is only with blood that you can write about the things 
of war. Besides, the next war will he a terrible business. 
Between Germany and France it can only be a ques- 
tion of a duel to the death. To be or not to be : that 
is the question, and one, too, which will only be solved 
by the destruction of one of the combatants." 

Such is the tone of German military authors. Their 
responsibility is of the highest importance in the story 
we have to tell. It is they, it is their principles 
disseminated through Germany, which have set up 
like a dogma in that country the cult of force in and 
for itself, divorced from all the moral elements with 
which the thought of civilised people surrounds it. 
And, having been taught by such masters, the German 



4 THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR 

nation can in matters of war only thirst for murder 
and violence. 

The German State of Mind on the 
Eve of War 

These principles had their full effect as soon as the 
Germans thought that war was inevitable. 

Do not let us here discuss the excitement which 
people naturally feel under such circumstances, nor 
the emotions of wild enthusiasm and patriotic hatred 
into which the rush of events leads them. If these 
emotions lead to excesses, we can neither wonder 
nor complain at it. Excess is in the nature of things 
and is part and parcel of a system in which material 
forces work for a just end — namely, the safety of the 
country. The general upheaval which accompanied a 
declaration of war cannot fail to rouse the masses 
and to lead to extravagant and blustering demon- 
strations. Nevertheless, even in that respect, there 
are limits which a nation will never exceed, unless it 
is being exploited in the interests of the gospel of 
f rightfulness, unless the love of destruction for its 
own sake is the aim of its leaders and its preceptors, 
and is the basis of the nation's conception of war. 

That is the case with the Germans. The instincts 
of blind violence which men carry naturally within 
them and which education alone restrains, had been 
so carefully fostered by the Clausewitz and Schellendorf 
schools in the mind of the German people that, once 
the restraint of peace has been removed, we could 
postulate in them the symptoms of the most dangerous 
impulses : symptoms which, in the eyes of every 
impartial judge, appeared like the dismal omens of 
an appalling thirst for blood. 



THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR 5 

The correspondent of the Hovedstaden {La Cafitale) , 
a Danish journal, tells that he heard some women at 
Berlin uttering impassioned speeches, shouting that an 
attempt was being made to annihilate Germany, and 
urging the men to the task of destruction by fire and 
sword in the foreign countries to which they were 
going. This same correspondent records the fact that 
" men and women speakers followed one another in 
the Cafe Piccadilly belching out curses against Great 
Britain and her allies." Such were the feelings of the 
public in Germany, different, one might say, from what 
one would naturally expect to find in such a case, 
for, is it human for a woman to urge on her husband, 
her father or her son to a work of cruel destruction? 
How effective must have been the doctrines dissemi- 
nated by German authors like those we have quoted, 
if they have been able, as they have been, to destroy 
absolutely the finer feelings even of women, and if 
the thirst for violence has led women to make public 
attempts to incite their men-folk? 

The State of Mind of German Intellectuals 

But let us leave the military writers, and speak of 
men whose peaceful profession ought to have the 
effect of inspiring in them feehngs of moderation. 
The classes whom we call the intellectuals have been 
the most savage of all. 

" We are barbarians ! " wrote the famous German 
journalist, Maximilian Harden, in his paper Die 
Zukunft, at the beginning of the war. '* England is 
in alliance with yellow apes and rejoices to hear it 
said that Germans have been murdered by drunken 
Cossacks. The English, the Belgians, the French, the 



6 THE GERMAN THEORY OF WAR 

northern and southern Sklavs and the Japanese 
cannot praise one another enough, declaring that 
they are the guardians and purveyors of the most 
refined civihsation, and calhng us barbarians. 

*' We should be quite wrong to contradict them. 
For ancient Rome when it was sick unto death, the 
Germans who dug its grave were barbarians. Your 
civilisation, friends, wafts to you no fine perfumes ! 
Accustom yourselves to the idea that on German soil 
live barbarians and warriors who for the moment have 
no time to talk soft nothings. They shall defeat your 
armies, overpower your general staffs, and cut your 
tentacles in the oceans. When Tangiers and Toulon, 
Antwerp and Calais are subject to barbaric power, 
then sometime we shall have a kindly chat with you." 

It is in this state of mind, the mark of unbridled 
violence, that the German people embarked on the 
war of 1914. A monstrous outburst followed, the 
desire and the firm expectation of victory, of which 
German patriotism had perhaps the right to be glad. 
But at the same time the most brutal and savage 
instincts of mankind were let loose. 

The will to ravage, destroy, pollute everything 
belonging to the enemy filled the German armies, and 
the results of teachings printed in books could be seen 
written in letters of blood and fire on the page of 
history. The theory of blind violence openly pro- 
fessed in Germany for half a century, a theory 
which has been drilled into the very soul of the 
nation, and has become a principle of conduct for 
the individual, has borne its fruit. We shall tell the 
story of them. 



CHAPTER II 

german actions cannot be justified on the plea 
of reprisals 

The Plea of Reprisals 

Violations of the law of nations and, still more, 
acts of cruelty committed in war, have almost always 
escaped punishment properly so called. The victim 
usually finds himself powerless to exact retribution 
for them. Only one course is permitted to him : that 
of reprisals, by which he counters acts of violence with 
other acts of violence. His aim, therefore, is not 
vengeance : the point is to compel the enemy to keep 
to what is permissible, through fear of penalties to 
which he will be exposed if he persists in wrongdoing. 
Reprisals may frequently involve great violence, but 
one rule is universally admitted — that they never 
justify acts of cruelty properly so called. Amongst 
the latter are the massacre of women and children, 
mutilation, cunningly devised torture, etc. Two other 
principles are likewise admitted as regards reprisals, 
to wit — 

(i) that the severity of reprisals must not be 
out of proportion to the gravity of the offence. 

(2) that in cases where the offence has been 
committed by individual non-combatants, re- 
prisals must not be inflicted on their fellow- 
7 



8 GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE 

citizens, as the aggrieved army has its legitimate 
remedy under what is called martial law. Now 
the Germans have violated this rule and these 
principles. 

Reprisals and the Germans 

On many occasions the Germans have had recourse 
to the plea of reprisals to justify acts of violence com- 
mitted by them. We shall show that this plea is a 
misuse of terms. One of the excuses which they have 
most frequently put forward is that civilians have 
taken part in the war, in Belgium, in France, in Poland. 
But the question of the civilian population taking 
part in military operations is bound up with the ques- 
tion of francs-tireurs, which Germany wanted to solve 
to suit herself and which will occupy our attention 
later on. Let us here point out one thing — that the 
circumstances under which, even according to the 
German version of events, civilians have taken part 
in the war, are very often quite enough to condemn 
Germany. For example, Herr de Bethmann-Hollweg, 
the Imperial Chancellor, thought he could persuade the 
whole world of the innocence of the German soldiers, 
whose admitted excesses, so far as Louvain was con- 
cerned, were due, he said, to the fact that the young 
girls of the town had gouged out the eyes of the German 
soldiers. Let us assume the Chancellor's good faith 
in making such a statement. Assuredly he cannot 
have supposed that this happened in many instances 
or that it went so far as a general execution. It can 
only have been reported to him, and he can only have 
been induced to believe it as an exceptional act. It 
is not of the nature of such an act, alike from the 
cruelty which it assumes in women and from the 



JUSTIFIED ON PLEA OF REPRISALS 9 

difficulty of carrying it out, to be repeated often, and 
this is the reason for destroying a town, burning 
Louvain and pillaging the whole country. ** A plea 
of self-defence hke this," said M. Hanotaux, " by 
itself gives you a picture of the German soul." 

German Slanders which Attempt to Disguise 

Cruel Acts of the Imperial Troops 

AS Reprisals 

All the other excuses of the Germans are of the 
same kind. Their very weakness proves that they 
are slanders. For example, Germany has endeavoured 
to spread in foreign countries, and especially in 
Switzerland, a rumour to the effect that people on their 
way back from enemy countries who had stopped in 
France, and also Swiss subjects, had been ill-treated 
by the French authorities. The object of this grotesque 
report was obviously to forestall charges under the 
same heading which would fall on Germany, and to 
prepare the public opinion of the world to think that 
charges outstanding against them were cancelled by 
the necessity of resorting to reprisals for acts com- 
mitted in France. The Swiss newspapers did not fail 
to denounce the German manoeuvre. To show the 
extent to which the poHcy of lying was being carried, 
the Journal de Geneve published a letter from the 
Swiss Consul at Besangon, giving the highest praise 
to the manner in which Germans and Austrians had 
been treated in France. 

Moreover, of what value can these slanders be when, 
on the other hand, documentary evidence proves that 
the French authorities have behaved to the Germans 
with an excess of indulgence. It is certain, at least, 
that nowhere in France has any hatred been shown to 



10 GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE 

the prisoners. Even prisoners of war have been most 
energetically protected by the heads of the army 
against the passions of crowds. On this head here is 
a note which a French general, Commandant at Angers, 
addressed to the newspapers of this town — 

" For some days convoys of prisoners of war have 
been passing through the Angers railway station. 

*' Part of the civil population, and not always the 
best part, crowds on the bridge above the station and 
utter cries when they think they recognise an enemy 
uniform on the platform. These demonstrations are 
unbecoming; if the Germans behave like brutes to 
their prisoners, there is no reason why we should 
imitate them. A nation like France, which boasts 
with good right of being the most civilised of all, can- 
not, by acting like them, follow in the footsteps of the 
barbarians whom we are on the way to conquer at 
our will and pleasure, with arms in our hands. I beg, 
therefore, the staff of the local press to be good enough 
to invite civilians to maintain the calmness and dignity 
which are the qualities of strong races, conscious of 
their place in civilisation. 

'* General d'Ormesson." 



Trivial Acts have sometimes been the Cause of 
Terrible Reprisals 

One of the manoeuvres practised by the Germans 
consists in their firing some gunshots themselves, 
at the moment when they were entering a village 
evacuated by enemy troops, and pretending that these 
shots came from civilians. Consequently they began 
to resort to what they called reprisals. All the more 



JUSTIFIED ON PLEA OF REPRISALS ii 

did they resort to them when the smallest actual 
offence gave them any pretext. 

In his book, German Evidence for German Crimes, 
M. Bedier tells how at Orchies ** a woman was shot 
for not having obeyed the word of command to halt. 
The result, the whole district burnt ! " The dis- 
obedience of this peasant woman was considered by 
the German, Major Mehring, the Commandant at 
Valenciennes, a " terrible atrocity." In the belief 
that other equally terrible atrocities had been, accord- 
ing to report, committed at Orchies this Major decided 
on the destruction of the town. Moreover, he was 
extraordinarily proud of it, for he issued a proclamation 
saying that *' unfortunately " he had been compelled 
to the most rigorous measures of martial law against 
the town of Orchies. " In this locality," he adds^ 
*' the most terrible atrocities were committed. I have 
drawn the due inferences therefrom, and have destroyed 
the whole town. The old town of Orchies, a town of 
5000 inhabitants, is no more. . . . The dwelling-houses,, 
town hall and church are annihilated." As a matter 
of fact the Germans directed a furious bombardment 
against Orchies ; incendiary bombs, benzine sprinklers,, 
every means was employed. For a radius of six 
leagues the red lights of the conflagration could be 
seen rising. 



In Poland 

A circumstance quite as trivial as the disobedience 
of the Orchies peasant woman was the occasion for 
the monstrous acts of cruelty and extortion of which 
the Germans were guilty at Kalich, in Poland. In 
that place, because some one threw a stone at a patrol^ 



12 GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE 

Lieutenant-colonel Prenster, in command of the 
garrison, caused all the residents in one house to be 
shot, and then, thinking that that was not enough, 
he had all the people who lived in Rue Vroclavska 
brought out of their houses and riddled with grapeshot. 
About a hundred were killed. Another inhabitant of 
Kalich, Sokolof, the treasurer, was shot " for having 
burnt, the evening before the Germans entered, the 
banknotes in the departmental bank." Another, 
named Dernbourg, was hanged on the mere charge of 
having *' carried a lantern in his hand." This fact 
proved him to have been a spy ! The truth is that 
the unfortunate man had used the lantern only for 
the purpose of carrying out certain necessary repairs 
to his mill. Four workmen engaged in the mill were 
also put to death, after some forms of trial. Four 
hundred houses were destroyed in this town, repre- 
senting a loss of sixty million roubles. The leader of 
the Germans in this performance was an individual 
of German extraction, Michel by name, the former 
head of a brothel at Kalich, whom the German 
Commandant appointed mayor of the town. 

The Germans Admit that their Pleas of Defence 

ARE A Sham 

The Germans have been trained in a rigorous school, 
but they are lacking in flexibility of mind. Moreover, 
they were unable to avoid admissions which confute 
their falsehoods. 

So it happened that when the Berliner Tagehlatt 
recorded acts of cruelty which it alleged had been 
committed by the Alhes, a refutation of its charges 
came from Germany itself. This paper told that in 



JUSTIFIED ON PLEA OF REPRISALS 13 

France cigars and cigarettes filled with powder were 
given to German prisoners : Vorwaerts took up the 
task of replying to this piece of stupidity, showed that 
a great number of stories of the same kind had been 
admitted to be false, and that in particular the story 
of the cigarettes was a mere invention. The legend 
that German soldiers had had their eyes gouged out 
by f rancs-tireurs was also denounced as a mere imagina- 
tion. On this point Vorwaerts wrote : " No proof has 
been made out on official authority that German 
soldiers have had their eyes gouged out by francs- 
tireurs. A certain well-known Berlin newspaper de- 
clared that there were at the Grosslichterfeld hospital 
ten slightly wounded soldiers, who had had their eyes 
gouged out by the enemy. When Herr Liebknecht 
asked the superintendent of the hospital if the report 
was correct, the latter replied, " Fortunately, these 
rumours are devoid of all foundation." 

Vorwaerts recurred to this same question on the 
6th December, 1914, when it published the results 
of an inquiry made of the management of the 
Hanover hospitals and the grand charity hospital at 
Berlin. 

The management of the Hanover hospitals addressed 
the following reply to the Socialist journal. *' As a 
result of inquiry made among the doctors of the 
different sections of hospital 3, we are able to inform 
you that we have not at present at the hospital a 
single wounded person whose eyes have been gouged 
out. We have never had one." 

Similarly, the management of the charity hospital 
at Berlin communicated the following note to Vorwaerts: 
'* The charity hospital has admitted no wounded who 
have had their eyes gouged out." 



14 GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE 

Finally, the great Catholic newspaper, the Kolnische 
Volkszeitung, having published in the month of 
November an article in which the same legend re- 
appeared, Arch-presbyter Kaufmann had a conclusive 
document inserted in this paper. 

A doctor, M. Saethre, who said he had visited the 
Cologne hospitals, had written, "There can be no doubt 
about the atrocities committed by francs-tireurs. I 
myself saw at Aix-la-Chapelle a Red Cross sister 
whose breast had been cut off by francs-tireurs, and 
a Major whose eyes had been gouged out whilst he 
lay on the field of battle." He rephed, under date 
26th November, in a letter to the paper from which 
we make this extract : " You asked me to write to 
you what I thought about this report. I, therefore, 
applied to the competent military authorities to know 
if the statements made by Doctor Saethre were correct. 
The superintendent of the hospital writes me under 
date 25th November, ' The atrocities of which you 
tell me have not been committed, at least as far as 
Aix-la-Chapelle is concerned. We have not seen 
the Red Cross sister referred to nor the Major 
either.' 

** I do not know," continued the Arch-presbyter, 
where the doctor of whom the Kolnische Volkszeitung 
speaks has got his information. " I think it necessary 
to state here again that in the hospitals of Aix-la- 
Chapelle there is not a single wounded man to be 
found whose eyes have been gouged out, and no 
Red Cross sister who has suffered the above-mentioned 
mutilation." 

In this way was the device foiled. The attempts 
made to disguise the German crimes as reprisals led 
to nothing. 



JUSTIFIED ON PLEA OF REPRISALS 15 

Reprisals among the Allies 

These took p^ace on account of the treatment of 
German prisoners of war after their internment. 
Even on this question complete equaUty has not yet 
been reached, as the AlUes did not desire to treat their 
prisoners in the least hke Germany treats hers. 

In their behaviour towards civilians the Allies have 
always confined themselves to the limits prescribed 
by martial law, without having recourse to the right 
of reprisals. In Alsace, German immigrants very 
nearly gave occasion for reprisals. 

At Cernay, a French section which had deployed 
lost thirty-eight men, who had all been struck in the 
back ; the shots had been fired in the town, before any 
German soldier could have reached there. At Lutran, 
the German teacher fired on a cavalry patrol and killed 
two horses. This attitude of the Germans of Alsace, 
as well as the numerous arrests of German spies caught 
red-handed in the course of operations in Upper Alsace, 
brought several persons before a court-martial. In 
these citations the procedure of war was scrupulously 
observed. This was particularly the case with the 
Mayor and the comptroller of the post office of 
Thann, as also with the wife of a German forester of 
Schlierbach, who was condemned to death by the 
court-martial for having led several soldiers into an 
ambuscade. 

Only on one occasion did the French speak of 
reprisals and threaten to carry them out. This threat 
was delivered by aeroplanes, which threw down 
proclamations declaring " We have many hostages 
in our hands. For every Alsatian killed, we shall 
kill ten Germans; for every Alsatian wounded, we 



i6 GERMAN ACTIONS CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED 

shall kill a German." The object was to protect 
Alsatian civilians, who had fallen into the hands of 
the Germans again, against the vengeance of the 
latter. 

Conclusion 

To sum up, while the Allies, in face of the cruelties 
committed by their enemies, waived or restricted their 
right of reprisals ; the Germans, on the contrary, not 
only exercised it, but boldly exceeded it, using it as 
a random excuse to justify a policy of vengeance and 
terrorisation. Acts of little importance were repressed 
by them like outrages. The doings of a single in- 
dividual brought about the ruin of a village. Still 
more, these doings were invented to justify gratuitous 
excesses practised for the mere purpose of terrorisa- 
tion. These general remarks were necessary before 
embarking on the story of the excesses and crimes 
which Germany wished to dispute and the details of 
which we are about to read. 



CHAPTER III 
the german treatment of officials 

German Violence 

German violence, once it had been let loose by the 
declaration of war, forthwith became lost to restraint 
of every kind. It was not merely in pitched battles 
and amongst soldiers that it was displayed, but behind 
the lines, and in matters commonly supposed to be 
subject to diplomatic regulations. The official repre- 
sentatives of foreign countries had to suffer the con- 
sequences. By their conduct towards these dis- 
tinguished people, German ministers and officials by 
their deliberate action proved to the civilised world 
that Germany is the land of cruelty no less than of 
insolence and rudeness. The ambassadors, consuls, 
etc., of the powers on which Germany had just declared 
war were exposed to infamous treatment, perhaps, in 
its way, worse than the acts of cruelty committed by 
the heads of the army and by the soldiers. Even 
people of royal blood, members of the Imperial family 
of Russia, were the victims of these outbursts of 
violence. 

In making this statement we must not exonerate 
any section of the German people. The members of 
the Government, no less than officials, are responsible, 
for none of the latter were censured, and this responsi- 
bility must be traced back to the Emperor. On the 

C 17 



i8 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

other hand, the German people, without distinction of 
class, deliberately associated themselves with these 
outbursts. 



How THE German Authorities behaved to the 
Dowager Empress of Russia 

The Dowager Empress of Russia, Marie Feodorovna, 
mother of the Emperor of Russia and sister of Queen 
Alexandra of England, was travelling through Germany 
on the day after the declaration of war. She had just 
left England and was going back to Russia. 

On the order of the German authorities — 

(i) Her Majesty was stopped at Berlin, where 
she was forbidden to continue her journey to 
Petrograd to meet her family. 

(2) She was given the choice of going to Copen- 
hagen or of returning to London. 

The Dowager Empress had to obey. She went to 
Copenhagen and thence continued her journey. 

How THE German Authorities behaved to the 

Grand Duke Constantin of Russia 

AND HIS Family 

The Grand Duke Constantin Constantinovitch, 
grandson of Nicholas I, known as a patron of arts 
and letters, who was at the baths of Wildungen, in 
Germany, with his family, when war broke out, was 
stopped two days after the Empress. At first the 
Germans thought of detaining him and making him 
prisoner, as they had done with Admiral Skridlof, 
formerly Admiral-in-Chief of the Russian Black Sea 
fleet, and several Russian generals who likewise 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 19 

happened to be in German territory. But they 
merely shut him up with his family in a carriage of a 
frontier train. In this carriage they made a point of 
putting some soldiers who were travelling pipe in 
mouth, and forbade any one to open the windows. 
At different stages in the journey the authorities were 
guilty of repeated acts of rudeness to the Prince, and 
even went so far as to jeer at his suite. When the 
Grand Duchess expressed a wish to send a telegram to 
the Empress of Germany, who had been her friend 
from childhood, she found that she was arrogantly 
refused. 

From the station at Gumbinnen up to the Russian 
frontier, that is to say for a distance of three leagues, 
the Grand Duke and his family had to complete the 
journey on foot. 

How THE Germans behaved to the Ambassador of 
France at Berlin 

The German authorities behaved in similar fashion 
to M. Jules Cambon, the Ambassador of France at 
Berlin. When, armed with his passports, he asked 
to leave by way of Holland, the minister refused his 
request and sent him word by M. de Lancken, a former 
adviser to the German Embassy at Paris, that he would 
have to return to France through Austria. 

** We should not recommend you," he said, ** to go 
through Denmark. The sea may not be safe. ..." 
M. Cambon then asked for himself and his staff a safe- 
conduct which would guarantee his journey through 
Austria, where his official position would be no protec- 
tion to him. This safe-conduct was promised him. 
On the following morning this order was counter- 



20 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

manded, and M. Cambon was informed that he would 
be brought back again to the Danish frontier. Whether 
the sea would be safe or not was no longer taken into 
consideration. His departure took place the same day. 
It took no less than twenty-four hours to cross the 
400 kilometres which separate Berlin from Denmark. 
When the train got near the frontier all the blinds were 
lowered, and soldiers armed with revolvers beset the 
doors of each compartment. The passengers were 
warned that these soldiers would fire if they left the 
carriage, if they put their hands in their pockets, or 
if they attempted to touch their luggage. 

When they were close to the frontier, a military 
official. Commandant de Rheinhaben, came, shame- 
facedly enough, and asked M. Cambon for the cost of 
the train by which he had travelled from Berlin. 
The ambassador offered a cheque on the Bleichroeder 
Bank, which was declined. The total expense, which 
amounted to 3600 marks, was demanded in gold. The 
Embassy staff was able to scrape together this sum. 
The passengers then continued their journey, with 
the addition to their party of a curious-looking person 
who, the Commandant said, was a Scandinavian 
merchant. M. Cambon and his companions met this 
curious merchant again at Copenhagen and in Norway 
at the time of their embarkation for England. 

Moreover, as they were going through the Kiel 
Canal, the Germans went so far as to claim the right 
to search the ambassador's luggage. And though, 
through the interposition of an official, he was spared 
this humiliation, soldiers forced themselves into the 
carriages and stood on guard facing the passengers, 
with their hands on the trigger of their revolvers; 
even women and children did not escape this kind of 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 21 

treatment and were threatened with death if they 
made the shghtest movement. 

How THE German Authorities behaved to other 
Members of the Diplomatic Corps 

The French Minister at Munich and his family were 
notified on the 3rd August, at 6 p.m., that they must 
take train the following morning for Constance, under 
the supervision of an officer and a Bavarian official. 
The Minister asked for an extension of time, which 
was refused in accordance with instructions which he 
was told had been received from Berlin. On the other 
hand, the owners of the premises used as offices and 
residences by the legation demanded, under threat of 
distress, immediate payment for the current quarter. 

M. de Nelidof, the Russian Envoy at the Vatican, 
who was returning to Russia through Germany with 
his wife, was kept prisoner for two days in the Munich 
railway station, where he and Mme. de Nehdof had to 
submit to the worst possible treatment at the hands 
of soldiers. 

The Russian Minister at Dresden was ordered to 
leave at nine hours' notice. With great difficulty he 
had the time extended to twenty-four hours. He 
and his staff were put into a carriage with blinds 
drawn, and he was kept under observation by two 
poUce officials all the way to Munich. 

Brutal Behaviour, which was Permitted by the 
German Police, of the Mob, to the Diplo- 
matic Representatives of Foreign Countries 

We cannot be surprised that the mob shows little 
self-control in circumstances so critical as a declaration 



22 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

of war. But what cannot be permitted is that mob 
violence should be let loose, and not be forbidden by 
the authorities, upon the representatives of foreign 
powers, whose mission under such circumstances 
automatically comes to an end. In Germany, on 
certain occasions, the authorities were actually accom- 
plices of the mob. This was the case as regards the 
treatment of the French and Russian diplomatic body 
as they were leaving Berlin. 

When the French diplomatic body was passing 
through Neumunster, near Kiel, violent demonstra- 
tions were made by a party of ladies of the German 
Red Cross. These ladies crowded round the carriage 
in which were the staff of the French Embassy, shouting 
and shaking their fists. As a glass of water was being 
brought to a little girl of three years old, who was 
travelling with the Embassy, these ladies took hold of 
it and threw it to the ground. In some cases the 
behaviour of the crowd was so shameful that Com- 
mandant de Rheinhaben, who had been instructed 
to travel with the Embassy, said that in all his life 
he had never had so painful a duty to perform. 

The demonstrations against the Russian diplomatic 
body began on the 27th July, according to a subsequent 
statement of M. de Sverbeef, Russian Ambassador to 
Berlin, to one of the editors of Novo'ie Vrimia, 29th 
August, 1914. A howling mob, he said, filled all the 
streets round the Embassy, shouting insults to the 
Russians. This lasted till two o'clock in the morning. 
These demonstrations began again the following day, 
but, curious to relate, were at first aimed at Russia 
and not at France. At the beginning of the war 
it was supposed at Berlin that France would not 
participate in the struggle. 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 23 

'* I left Berlin," continued the ambassador, ** with 
the staff of the Embassy on Sunday, 2nd August, at 
noon. A mob had gathered in front of the Embassy 
in the morning. To avoid unpleasantness, the gate 
had been shut. It was only opened at the moment 
when we were getting into a motor. I went in front 
in the motor of the United States Ambassador. The 
crowd did not attack me and I heard hardly any hostile 
cries. On the other hand, the mob indulged in 
murderous attacks on the other motors. 

" Although at Berhn the fact of these murderous 
attacks on the members of the Russian Embassy is 
denied, they are nevertheless authentic. The mob 
wounded not only the men, but also the ladies. It 
was not merely the proletariat who gave themselves 
up to these acts of violence, but people who appeared 
to be quite of high position participated. 

Moreover, several official representatives of Russia 
were arrested in the street, but were set at liberty again 
when their papers had been examined. 

Crapovitzki, the Chamberlain, formerly Secretary- 
in-Chief of the Russian Embassy at Berlin, was struck 
on the head by blows so violent that his blood saturated 
two handkerchiefs, and he had to put himself under 
medical care at Copenhagen. 

Princess Belosselska, an American citizen, was struck 
on the back, on the shoulder, and on the head, by a 
well-clad man with a white beard, and some people 
spat in her face. 

Several other people were ill-treated, especially 
Countess Litke, wife of the Russian Minister at Stutt- 
gart : Mme. Todleben, wife of the Russian Minister 
at Carlsruhe; Mmes. Plantine and Raevska; MM. 
Diacre and Chapelle of the Embassy at Berlin, 



24 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

and M. Lopaiko. The children were stowed away 
on the floor of the motors to protect them from 
blows. 



How THE German Authorities behaved to Members 
OF the Consular Service 

Members of the Russian, French and English 
consular service in Germany were to have still less 
favour shown to them than ambassadors and ministers. 
The Consul-General of Russia at Leipzig was unex- 
pectedly summoned to the police station. He was 
there allowed thirty-five minutes to go to the station 
and take the train. His vice-consul, who was of a 
lower rank, was allowed only ten minutes, and his 
pockets were searched to boot. 

The Consul-General of France at Frankfurt got 
orders to go on the 4th August, and he immediately 
obeyed. The German authorities conducted him 
to the Belgian frontier, then on the way they changed 
their minds and conducted him to Constance. When 
he reached the station at Offensburg he was arrested 
by an officer. With the consular staff he remained 
shut up for five hours in the waiting-room, closely 
watched. Then he was conducted, with about one 
hundred French people, men, women and children, 
who had left Frankfurt at the same time as their 
consul-general, to Donaueschingen. There they were 
all led under escort in a pelting rain to the other end 
of the town into an open station, where their only 
opportunity of rest was upon some bundles of straw. 
On the next morning it was announced that the French, 
with their wives and children, would be detained by 
the local authorities. A protest by the consul-general 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 25 

was ineffective. The consul and his staff were unable 
to resume their journey to Constance until 5 o'clock. 

On the 5th August the German authorities ordered 
the consuls of France, Russia and England to leave 
Danzig within an hour. 

The three consuls and their families were brought to 
Bentheim, on the Dutch frontier, amid insults and ill- 
treatment and without being allowed to take any food. 
On the 8th August, at Bentheim, the three consuls 
were separated from their wives and families, and 
shut up in a prison cell, with the sons of the English 
consul and M. Vassel, of the French Consulate at 
Prague. 

They were treated like criminals : they had bread 
and water for food, straw mattresses and a stone floor 
for bed; they were compelled to clean their cells, 
to take a regular walk of half an hour within the 
prison precincts, in the company of men who had been 
convicted at common law. 

The French consul, M. Michel, being ill, asked for 
a doctor, but was unable to get one. The superin- 
tendent of the prison thought he had done all that 
was required by giving him some castor oil. This 
regimen lasted several days. Finally, on the 13th 
August, the English consul was released and met again 
his wife and his children, who, unknown to him, had 
been shut up in another cell. The other consuls were 
not set at liberty until some days afterwards. 

M. de France de Tersant, Vice-Consul of France at 
Frankfurt on the Main, took thirty-three hours to 
traverse the 300 kilometres between Frankfurt and 
the frontier. He underwent the same annoyances : 
tedious confinement in railway stations, perpetual 
change of route; he was compelled to travel with 



26 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

blinds drawn and windows shut in a stiiSing heat, in 
the company of an armed official. 

The wife of this consul, Mme. de France de Tersant, 
who left Germany on the 31st July — that is, before 
the declaration of war, was arrested at Metz and her 
luggage confiscated. In vain she made application 
to the military authorities. They refused to receive 
it and threatened to keep her in custody. However, 
she obtained permission to continue her journey by 
horse carriage to Noveant. As she was leaving the 
soldiers hooted her. At Noveant the driver refused 
to bring her any further. Then she had to go on foot 
as far as Pagny-on-the-Moselle, which is the first 
French village. A peasant at Noveant lent her a wheel- 
barrow, in which she could put her young child. The 
peasant consented to push the wheelbarrow. 

M. Damier, Russian consul at Frankfurt, was 
brought by force from his house to a statue of Ger- 
mania which he was compelled to salute. A howling 
mob kicked him and struck him with their fists. 
M. Alberic Neton, Consul-General of France at Diissel- 
dorf, was ordered on the 2nd August by the Chief of 
Police to leave the town at once. Two officials were 
stationed before his door with orders not to leave 
it. On the next day, on his way to the consulate, he 
could not give them the shp. All the day they kept 
near him whether he went on foot or rode. 

After interminable negotiations with regard to his 
departure, the Consul-General of France finally left 
Diisseldorf on the 5th August, bringing with him only 
a small portmanteau. The destination of the train 
was the Dutch frontier (Roermont). But at the first 
station, which is Neuss, an officer in a uniform trimmed 
with lace came and opened the compartment in which 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 27 

were the consul-general and many other passengers, and 
informed them that the Dutch line was cut and that they 
would have to go to Cologne and then to Switzerland. 

He had to go to Cologne in a train full of soldiers 
and in a third-class carriage. During the whole 
journey the soldiers never ceased to make insulting 
remarks about France. 

At Cologne, the consul-general's journey was 
interrupted by the military authorities. He under- 
went a regular search and had to undress to allow 
these people to search every bit of his clothing. As 
he complained of having to submit to such treatment, 
the German officer said to him, " You will see many 
other people in the same case as yourself." 

And, in fact, when the search was completed he 
was brought, carefully escorted, to an hotel of the 
lowest class, an annexe of the Prefecture of Police, 
where police officers searched his luggage. M. Neton 
was kept there three days under police supervision. 
He was forbidden to communicate with any one outside 
or to read the newspapers. 

" During the third night of our detention," says the 
consul-general in his official report of the loth August, 
** on Friday, 7th August, a httle before midnight, 
there was a violent knocking at the door of my room. 
* Everybody get up,' cried a voice ; ' you will be off to 
Holland in ten minutes.' Everybody dressed in great 
haste. We were compelled to get into two military 
motors, which brought us with all speed to the station. 
There we were brought to a train which was standing 
ready, and pushed into a carriage where we were 
locked in and all the blinds lowered. The signal for 
departure was given, but none of us knew where we 
were going. 



28 GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 

*' At six o'clock in the morning the train stopped. 
We had just passed Cleves and we were a short distance 
from the Dutch frontier. To get us over the remaining 
thirty kilometres the mayor of the place, who had 
been notified of our arrival, offered to have us driven 
across in a light trap. 

" When we got down from the carriage he demanded 
of us 14 marks, i. e. about 18 francs. 

" We were at Vyler, the last Prussian station from 
which the boundary, marking the frontier, could be 
seen ; we thought we were at the end of our troubles, 
but we had reckoned without the station officer. * Your 
papers,' said he. Each of us showed what the official 
who searched us at Cologne had left us. ' Not in 
order,' he declared. * I shall have to report the matter. 
In the meantime you must be searched,' and for a 
second time, men and women, we were obliged to un- 
dress completely and to undergo a more minute search 
than one could possibly imagine. They even looked 
between our toes. The brims of our hats were turned 
back. The insoles of our shoes were lifted up. My 
watch was opened and the glass of it broken. 

" Once more I protested. Police officers, revolver 
in belt and rifle in hand, surrounded me and commanded 
me to keep silent. The official came towards me. My 
last papers and documents were seized and even my 
private letters were taken. . . . 

" The official took leave of me, saying, ' I shall return 
all this to you at Diisseldorf when you come back.' 

" After a few more minutes waiting we were allowed 
to cross the frontier. We were free. On my arrival 
in Holland I noticed that the soldiers who had searched 
me had taken 90 marks in gold which happened to be 
in my pocket." 



GERMAN TREATMENT OF OFFICIALS 29 

M. Rene d'Hennezel, French Vice-Consul at Mann- 
heim, left his post under similar circumstances. At 
Immendigen a non-commissioned officer and four 
men burst into his carriage. He examined M. 
d'Hennezel's passports and those of M. Lancial, diplo- 
matic attache, had their luggage carefully searched, 
and passed on to them the word to follow him to the 
captain. On the platform the crowd shouted angrily 
and the non-commissioned officer sneered at them. 

The captain questioned them fiercely and declared 
that their passports were not in order. He prevented 
them leaving and had them brought back to the 
station-master's office, where a fresh examination of 
their luggage was made in his presence. Finally, he 
consented to let them travel by Constance, saying, 
" Above all things, mind what you are about, and take 
very good care that I hear no complaint of you, or 
you will immediately be shot. You must get into the 
luggage van." 

M. Armez, French Consul at Stuttgart, during the 
last days of his stay received all his correspondence 
" unsealed as a military safeguard." 

On the 3rd August he was ordered to leave his post 
within three hours, and to bring only hand luggage. 
He was stopped at the first station as a spy, and 
threatened with death by the other passengers, in the 
presence of a menacing crowd. It was only after 
many anxieties of every kind and not without having 
received several blows and even having been wounded, 
that he succeeded in reaching Constance in Swiss 
territory. 



CHAPTER IV 

OUTRAGES COMMITTED BY GERMAN AUTHORITIES AND 
PRIVATE PERSONS AGAINST ENEMY SUBJECTS 

The most celebrated German writers on inter- 
national law, Heffter, Klueber, Geffcken, have taught 
that the State which declares war can neither keep 
enemy subjects who happen to be on its territory 
nor their property, for as they came into this territory 
in reliance upon public law and have received per- 
mission to stay there, they can avail themselves of 
the tacit promise made by the State that every free- 
dom and safety are guaranteed them for their return^ 
If the State wishes them to go, it must allow them a 
reasonable time to go away with their property; if 
not, enemy subjects, who are subject to the regulations 
of the police and of public safety have the right, so 
long as they respect these laws, to appeal for protec- 
tion to them. In any case deliberate ill-treatment of 
enemy subjects cannot be permitted. 

This principle, by the confession of the Germans 
themselves, condemns the methods to which Germany 
has resorted by empowering her officials to behave 
cruelly to French and Russian subjects who happened 
to be in Germany on the 3rd August, and by tacitly 
approving the behaviour of the mob to them. 

The fear of spying, of which it appears that all these 
people were suspected, perhaps because of the audacity 
which the Germans themselves showed in resorting to 
it in foreign countries, was invoked by the Germans 
as the excuse for all these outrages and the justification 
for all these annoyances. 

30 



OUTRAGES BY GERMAN AUTHORITIES 31 

German Misconduct towards People Incapable 
OF Espionage 

Nevertheless, ill-treatment could not be justified in 
this way. As a precaution against spying, foreigners 
may be compelled to leave a country en masse. A 
straightforward and honest supervision may be exer- 
cised over them at their departure, but no one has 
the right to allow them to be struck, nor to expose 
them to the clamours of a mob, nor to speak to them 
as if they were prisoners in the dock. Only definite 
suspicion falling upon individuals would justify such 
conduct, and by justifying it would give, in addition, 
the rights of arrest and cross-examination. 

People who are merely being brought back to their 
own country in case of war have the right to be shown 
every consideration by the authorities. 

In all the disgraceful situations which German 
officials and private citizens brought about in Germany 
in their dealings with enemy subjects of Germany, 
we can, therefore, see merely the expression of a 
cowardly hatred of everything that belongs to the 
powers hostile to Germany, powers which the Germans 
think they are hitting when they insult and ill-treat 
their peaceful and harmless citizens. The same feeling 
which animated German officials against the Dowager 
Empress of Russia, against the Grand Duke Con- 
stantin, against the ambassadors, ministers and 
consuls of Russia and France, could only assert itself 
with still greater fury, devoid of all consideration and 
all scruple, against plain French citizens or Russian 
subjects. In this letting loose of evil passions there 
were manifested features of grotesque arbitrariness. 
For example, such was these people's whim, every 
woman who wore spectacles was subjected to a more 



32 OUTRAGES COMMITTED BY 

minute search than other travellers, on the ground, 
it was alleged, that there was more likelihood of her 
being a spy ! 

How THE Germans treated Russian 
Travellers 

Thirty-two Russians belonging to the highest aris- 
tocracy, who were passing the summer at Baden and 
other bathing resorts, were arrested at Hamburg and 
detained for several days. Thanks to the intervention 
of the Spanish consul, M. Veler, they were able eventu- 
ally to continue their journey; but at Neumunster, 
M. Schebeko, on the authority of a telegram from 
Berlin, was suddenly arrested in the train, compelled 
to get out of the carriage guarded by soldiers with 
fixed bayonets, in the midst of a crowd shouting 
" Shoot him ! " He was then dragged off to prison, 
where he spent twenty-four hours in a dark cell, in 
the company of malefactors under the common law. 

The Countess of Vorontsoff, daughter of the Viceroy 
of the Caucasus, went so far as to protest. Immedi- 
ately the soldiers, in a rage, forced themselves into her 
carriage, pushed her with the butt-ends of their rifles 
on to the platform and began to search her. It was 
only with great difficulty that the travellers were able 
to resume their journey, which, from Baden to the 
Danish frontier, lasted seven days. At Reudsburg 
station they were again dragged from their carriage 
and carefully searched : at the Fleusburg station they 
were detained for four hours under a guard of armed 
soldiers. Other Russian travellers of note were at 
first brought to the frontier town of Eydtkuhnen, and 
then dispatched again to Mecklenburg, and the 
Island of Ruegen. 



GERMAN AUTHORITIES 33 

The travellers were fearfully crowded together. 
Some of them were put into cattle-trucks and had 
nothing to eat or drink. Even women were not 
spared blows with the fist and with the butt-ends of 
rifles, nor threats of death. Several had to make long 
marches on foot between rows of armed soldiers, and at 
stopping-places had no shelter but pig-sties. A large 
number of men aged from seventeen to fifty were stopped. 

Husbands were taken away from their wives, children 
were harshly treated, and left alone at the stopping- 
places in spite of the cries of their mothers, who were 
forced to continue their journey. 

In the sanatorium at Frankfurt, which was filled 
with a large number of foreigners, especially Russians, 
several of whom had just been operated on, shameful 
behaviour of the same kind took place. The sana- 
torium was cleared in twenty-four hours. A woman 
who had just been confined was sent to Berne, where she 
arrived in a dying condition. Her baby died on the way. 

After stories like these, we can easily imagine what 
bad treatment travellers of less distinction had to 
endure. The vicissitudes through which they passed 
not merely astound, but revolt, the hearer. The 
Russians who were brought to Sasuitz, for the most 
part robbed of all that they had, agreed to make the 
following declaration — 

" Those who wish to do so may take the boat to 
go back to Sweden. Those who do not wish to return 
to Sweden will remain here, as prisoners of war, until 
the end of the war. The women will sew linen for our 
soldiers, the men will be employed in making trenches. 
Whoever departs from the appointed place where he 
is to stop will be brought before a court-martial and 
will be shot. We do not guarantee regular food." 



34 OUTRAGES BY GERMAN AUTHORITIES 

How THE Germans Behaved to French 
Residents and Travellers 

The French were no more spared than the Russians. 
At Kembs, fronting Istein, the German authorities 
blew up with dynamite Monsignor Kannengieser's 
dwelUng-house. The noble prelate, who was almost 
blind, was shamefully ill-treated, because (such is the 
statement of the Liherti de Fribourg) he had in his 
possession plans of Istein. 

As for French travellers going back to France, their 
journey was checked at any moment by the police, 
who stopped them for long hours, if not for whole 
days, at every station. Several found that they were 
treated like regular prisoners; on the slightest sus- 
picion they were shut up in dark cells, and in order 
to intimidate them or to drag confessions out of them, 
they were threatened with death. Those who were 
not stopped by the police were unmercifully beaten 
by the crowd, who loaded them with insults. 

At Hanover a child who was wearing the inscription 
France on the ribbon of its hat was dragged from its 
mother and ill-treated. 

At Donaueschingen a certain number of women 
were compelled by the German military authorities 
to discontinue their journey, and were brought to a 
school, where they had to sleep on straw. 

They got the benefit, however, of the sole and only 
act of charity which was performed during the whole 
of this time in Germany towards an enemy subject, 
for the Princess of Fiirstenberg, whose castle is at 
Donaueschingen, hearing of their condition, had beds 
given them in a hospital of which she is patroness. 



CHAPTER V 

OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 

In these acts of unbridled violence due note should 
be made of the fact that German officials, officers and 
private soldiers made no distinction between individuals 
who held public offices and mere private citizens. 
Still more worthy of note is the fact, which we think 
is obvious, that they made no distinction between 
the subjects of enemy and those of neutral states. 
The sacred duty laid upon every State to protect 
the life, property and even the interests of neutrals 
was absolutely repudiated in Germany, and we think 
it is our duty to draw the reader's attention with 
special emphasis to outrages of this kind committed 
by the Germans both in Germany and in the territories 
which they invaded. 

Outrages committed by the Germans on Neutral 
Subjects Resident in Germany 

M. Bernardino del Campo, ex-Minister of Finance 
of Brazil, ex-President of Sao-Paolo and leader of the 
Republican Party of that country, happened to be 
on the 3rd August at Bad-Nauheim with his wife, 
who was taking a course of treatment there, and his 
four children. The Germans showed no consideration 
either for his nationality, his rank or his age. M. 
Bernardino del Campo, although he had reached the 

35 



36 OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 

age of sixty- two years, was struck with the butt- 
end of the rifle by Bavarian soldiers, robbed of his 
jewels and left dying at the Swiss frontier. 

The news of this incident caused great indignation in 
Brazil. 

Baroness Karen-Groothe, daughter of the King of 
Denmark's Master of the Hunt, and wife of a Turkish 
officer, happened to be at Mecklenberg when war was 
declared, and was arrested as a spy and treated so 
brutally that she had to keep to her bed at Copenhagen, 
to which she was brought back. 

Several Danish subjects resident in Schleswig were 
treated with the same kind of brutality. Count de 
Schack was imprisoned; when, on his release, he tried 
to escape across the Danish frontier, he was arrested 
again and sent to a fortress in the interior of Germany. 
The editors of the Danish papers in Schleswig, and a 
large number of distinguished people in the annexed 
provinces, were also imprisoned. 

Americans were no better treated than Danes. The 
New York Sun (nth August, 1914) discussed the 
treatment of Americans in Germany in an article 
dealing with the arrest of Mr. Archer Huntington and 
his wife on a baseless charge of espionage, and the 
brutality with which several young Americans had 
been treated. 

" It would seem that the German authorities " (said 
the Sun) " think that in war there is no obstacle to 
their will and no atonement for their acts. The 
American Government will speedily have to disabuse 
them of this idea. Germany must be made to under- 
stand clearly that ample compensation is due to 
her victims, and that those who have abused their , 
authority must be punished." 



OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 37 

In Austria 

The Austrian authorities were as discourteous as 
the German to foreigners, subjects of neutral countries. 
At Carlsbad the famous singer, Adelina Patti, and 
her husband, Baron Cederstrom, a Danish subject, 
were kept prisoners for several days in their hotel, 
where the police searched everything and rummaged 
through all their trunks and portmanteaus, while the 
crowd, who threatened to carry the hotel by assault, 
raised a hideous din by way of demonstration against 
the singer, who is a friend of Russia and France. 

According to the Italian newspaper Messagero, an 
Italian commercial traveller, M. Ugo Lorenzini, and 
ten fellow-countrymen were ill-treated by the Austrians 
on their return from Berlin to Italy on the outbreak 
of hostilities. They were imprisoned at Innsbruck, 
then shut up in a motor wagon, which took a day 
and a half to bring them to Trente. There they were 
robbed of everything they had, especially of 2000 
crowns, which was all the money in their possession. 
For a whole week the Austrians actually kept them 
digging trenches for fifteen hours a day : hardly any 
food was given them and they were struck with sticks 
and swords. One morning, after one of them had 
killed the guard, they managed to escape. A Trentino 
peasant helped them to make good their flight to the 
Italian frontier, where they arrived in a state of 
exhaustion. 

Crimes committed by Germans against Neutral 
Subjects in the invaded Countries 

The most serious of these crimes was that com- 
mitted by the soldiers of Lieutenant-colonel Blegen 
at Dinant against M. Himmer, Vice-Consul of the 



38 OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 

Argentine. This vice-consul, who ought to have been 
respected not merely as a non-combatant and a neutral, 
but because his consular rank should have protected 
him, was killed, and the Argentine flag trampled under 
foot, with the result that keen indignation was aroused 
in the Argentine. 

Amongst the many inhabitants at Liege who were 
shot were five young people of Spanish nationality. 
They were massacred on the 20th August. Their 
names were known and were as follows : the brothers 
Oliver, Juan and Antonio, natives of Oiler, Jaime 
Llabres of Majorca, Juan Nora and Jose Nielle. 

The Consul-General of the Balearic Islands, who 
had received confirmation of this report, made an 
official request to the Spanish Government that they 
should protest against these outrages and exact 
reparation — that is to say, present a demand for an 
indemnity for the families of the murdered men, and 
in order to make the demand effective, seize all the 
German ships which had taken refuge in Spanish ports. 

In France, at Jarny, twelve kilometres from Briey, 
the German soldiers, not satisfied with other acts of 
barbarism which they had committed, shot in addition 
thirteen Italian subjects. Here is the story of these 
murders, given by one of the comrades of the victims, 
the Italian Agostino Baccheta de Gattico of Novara, 
in the Gazetta del Popolo (see the Matin for 27th August, 
1914). 

At Jarny, Baccheta ran a small cafe which was a 
rendezvous for Italians, some of whom were his 
boarders. He returned to Italy, after a long and 
painful journey, accompanied by the sister of one of 
the men who had been shot. 

" It was about eight o'clock in the morning, on the 



OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 39 

3rd August," said he, ** when several battahons of 
the 63rd German infantry regiment, with some cavalry 
and artillery, got as far as Jarny, without meeting 
with much resistance from the French, who were not 
in great numbers. 

" The Germans lost one man killed and four wounded. 
They immediately accused the inhabitants of having 
fired on their party, and, having summoned the chief 
magistrate and the local doctor, ordered them to 
assemble the whole male population on the open space 
of the village. 

** Women and children were knocked down. When 
they wanted to follow their men-folk they were brutally 
driven back with the butt-ends of rifles and several 
were bayoneted. A woman, named Giuseppa Trolli, 
tried to prevent her husband getting out of the bed 
where he was lying seriously ill, and called out to the 
Germans, * Savage brutes.' She, and the child which 
she was holding in her arms, were wounded. 

** When all the men had assembled, patrols began to 
search the houses. In the rooms of my cafe, which 
had been let to some Italians, they found pickaxes 
and other tools. This was the excuse for arresting 
and immediately afterwards shooting the workmen, 
whose names are as follows : Gerolamo Bernacchini of 
Gattico ; Giovanni Testa of Bergama ; Angelo Luisetti 
of Borgomanero; Stefano Piralli of Gattico; Giovani 
Zoni of Trevisa. 

*' In the inn kept by a man named Gaggioli Stefano 
of Serralunga, two rusty revolvers were found. The 
proprietor of the inn, a man named Vaglia Giuseppe 
of Castelamonte, and Cesaroni Vincenzo of Viterbe, 
were arrested and paid with their lives for what this 
search had yielded. 



40 OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 

** Finally, in the Carrera Cafe, a fowling-piece was 
found belonging to Pesenti Luigi, of Milan, who was 
forthwith shot." 

Bachetta adds that some days afterwards the 
following were arrested and shot : Giovanni Tron of 
Conegliano; Andrew Bisesti of Bologna; a lad of 
thirteen years old called Eurigo Mafh of Lugo ; Amilcare 
Zoni of Trevisa, because, when asking for a passport 
of repatriation, they had questioned the German 
Commandant in a spirited manner. 

Italian refugees informed the consular authorities 
of the tragedy of which their companions had been 
the victims. They then went to Gattico to bring to 
M. Niccolo Leonardi the material proofs of their 
story. 

Spanish subjects resident in Reims suffered dreadfully 
during the German occupation and the famous bom- 
bardment, which we describe in detail further on. 

During the occupation, M. Rolland, a Spanish subject, 
was ill-treated and fifty German soldiers looted every- 
thing in the restaurant of which he was proprietor, 
especially his cellar. 

Several other houses and shops belonging to 
Spaniards, over which their national flag was flying, 
were systematically pillaged. 

The bombardment of September 18-20 had fresh 
disasters in store for the Spanish residents of Reims. 
The Spanish Consulate was bombarded although the 
Spanish flag made it conspicuous and all the Spaniards 
of Reims had taken refuge there on the advice of a 
Frenchman, M. Humbert, who, in the absence of the 
vice-consul, Cama, had taken charge of Spanish 
interests. The house of Narcisso Torres, which also 
had the Spanish flag upon it, was struck by two shells. 



OUTRAGES ON NEUTRAL SUBJECTS 41 

Father Torres, aged seventy-six years and ill, died of 
excitement. M. Antonio's house was set on fire; his 
daughter, aged eleven years, was seriously wounded. 

In the outskirts of Reims, the premises of the well- 
known Spanish firm, Montener & Co., were bombarded 
four times, and suffered damage which might be 
estimated at 500,000 francs. 

The Spanish committee of Paris, which had sent a 
deputation to the department of the Marne, to report 
upon the disasters of the war, protested as soon as 
they received the report of their deputies against the 
crimes committed in defiance of the Spanish flag and 
of humanity. 

Finally, let us add that, at the time of the second 
bombardment of Dunkirk, which was carried out by 
German aeroplanes (22nd January, 1915), the United 
States consul, Mr. Benjamin Morel, was wounded 
by a bursting bomb. The consulates of the United 
States, Norway and Uruguay were, in addition, struck 
by explosive projectiles thrown by German airmen. 



CHAPTER VI 

GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED IMPLEMENTS OF 
WAR 

Among savage races, or even nearer home, before 
certain agreements had been made between nations, 
poisoned or barbed arrows, small shot, pounded glass, 
and soft-nosed bullets were used to aggravate the 
condition of wounded enemies to the worst possible 
extent. To-day all these contrivances are prohibited, 
with the consent of Germany, who signed the con- 
ventions which embodied this prohibition. German 
jurists like Blunt schli approved this concurrence of 
opinion, and the German General Hartmann declared 
that for a long time these kinds of projectiles have 
gone into the lumber-rooms of arsenals. 

This fact, however, did not prevent Germany from 
resorting in this war to the use of weapons of the 
same kind, or even the still more formidable dum- 
dum bullets. Moreover, dum-dum bullets are expressly 
specified among the list of prohibitions laid down by 
the Hague Conference, 2gth July, 1899, prohibitions 
signed by Germany and her ally Austria. These 
declare that " the contracting parties forbid the use 
of bullets which expand or easily get flattened in the 
human body, such as bullets with a hard outer case 
which does not completely cover the core or is notched 
at the end." 

42 



GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED IMPLEMENTS 43 

The Use of Dum-dum Bullets in Belgium 

The report of the mihtary governor of Ghent, 
Lieutenant-general L. Clooten, and the results of 
experiments made by M. V. Rousseaux, armoury 
expert at Antwerp, prove indisputably that these 
bullets were in use among the Germans. The following 
is the report — 

"Headquarters at Ghent, 26th September, 1914. 

'* Sir, 

" I have the honour to send herewith some 
cartridges with bullets of the kind called * dum-dum,' 
seized on the Hanoverian Lieutenant von Halden, 
who was taken prisoner at Ninove, by my troops, on 
the 29th inst. 

" This officer's pistol, which he threw away shortly 
before his capture, could not be found again. 

" Lieutenant-general L. Clooten, 
" Military Governor." 

The following is the result of the experiment made 
by M. V. Rousseaux — 

'* The box with green label which you send me 
(20 cartridges for Mauser self-loading pistols of calibre 
7*63) must have contained full cartridges. It contains 
three rows of expanding dum-dum bullets, taken 
from the special boxes with yellow labels. These 
bullets were made to expand by the process of manu- 
facture, and it is impossible to make them so by hand. 

" V. Rousseaux, 

** Armoury Expert. 

"Antwerp, 2Sth September, 1914." 



44 GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED 

The Use of Dum-dum Bullets on French Soil 

The first instance of the use of dum-dum bullets 
on French soil goes back to the early days of the war. 
It was denounced by the French Government in the 
protest which they addressed (21st August, 1914) to 
the signatory powers of the Hague Convention. 

This protest points out that " on the loth August, 
1914, after an engagement between French and German 
troops, a surgeon-major sent to the general in command 
of the Infantry Brigade " a case found on the road 
to Munster " close to the German Custom-House," 
which contained five cartridges primed with cylindro- 
conical bullets cut at the end, the nickel cover of which 
was incomplete and left bare the upper portion of 
the lead slug. 

This was not the only instance. On the 14th 
September, Dr. Chas. Lavielle, superintendent of 
the auxiliary hospital of Baignots-a-Dax, sent to the 
sub-prefect of the department of Landes a report on 
the operations which had been performed on patients, 
and declared that four of them had been struck by 
expanding bullets. Photographs were appended to 
the report. 

Doctor Napieralski, physician-in-chief of the 7th 
auxiliary hospital of the third French army corps 
a Pont Audemer, noted the case of a foot soldier 
wounded in the shoulder with a huge scar as big as 
an open hand. It was not an ordinary wound. 

The wounded man's name was Adrien Bousquet, 
the foreman of some electricity works at Verdalles. 
He related (said the report) that on the 2nd November, 
in a battle to the East of Ypres, he found himself cut 
off with his section from the rest of his company. 



IMPLEMENTS OF WAR 45 

For three days his comrades and he fired from a 
trench, but at last, on the 5th November, they were 
outnumbered. The majority surrendered. Bousquet, 
however, not wishing to be made prisoner, tried to 
escape towards the main body of his troop. He was 
fired at from different sides. All at once he felt in 
his shoulder so violent a concussion that it actually 
turned him round. Still, it was only a bullet which 
had struck him. 

Dr. Napier alski noted that there could be no question 
of a wound caused by a bursting shell, for the wound 
showed no trace of powder nor any blackish stain of 
metallic oxide. 

As the wounded man was carrying his knapsack 
on his back, Dr. Napieralski adds that the explosive 
force of the bullet was increased by the pressure of 
the knapsack. The result was that the sinews were 
torn over a wide surface and the bone formation of 
the shoulder-blade was shattered. 

The depositions of the other wounded men who 
took part in the battle in which Bousquet was wounded 
confirm all his statements. On that day, at this point 
on the front, no artillery battle took place, and the 
Germans made use of many explosive bullets; no 
mistake is possible on this point, for it is easy to re- 
cognise them because as soon as they touch the ground, 
or any obstacle whatever, they burst with a dry, 
crackling noise. All the wounded who were questioned 
quote typical examples of deaths and wounds caused 
by these bullets; they also mention numerous wit- 
nesses, soldiers, their own comrades, whose evidence 
it is easy to collect and who will confirm their state- 
ments [Temps, 29th December). 



46 GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED 

Use of the Same Kind of Bullets in the 

Colonies 
German troops have used dum-dum bullets on all 
fronts and at every point where military operations 
were in progress. The fact that they have done so 
was proved particularly in the Togoland battles and 
confirmed by the English Governor of the Gold Coast 
in his report to the Colonial Minister in London 
(September 1914). 

Counter-accusations by the Germans 

The discovery of these facts could not fail to arouse 
universal indignation which Germany tried to fore- 
stall by accusing her enemies of similar acts. The 
Kaiser used the Wolff Bureau to make this accusation 
against France and England, and lodged a complaint 
against both with the President of the United States. 
France immediately issued a denial in a telegram 
under date nth September, 1914. Another denial 
drawn up on September 8 had come from England. 

The Lokal-Anzeiger and the Tag of Berlin (Septem- 
ber 10) published facsimiles of cartridges, and of 
pouches of cartridges alleged to be dum-dum, found 
by German troops at Longwy. Now, the very in- 
scription on these pouches — " Practice Cartridges " — 
showed the futility of the accusation, for it proves 
that here we have to do merely with ammunition 
for use at the rifle-ranges of military training clubs. 
As these ranges sometimes had to be prepared in a 
hurry, it was a case of necessity to send them car- 
tridges crushed at the end, so that the speed of the 
bullet should be reduced and that it should not go 
right through targets which were not thick enough. 



IMPLEMENTS OF WAR 47 

These cartridges were not even used at the regimental 
rifle-range, and the fact that they neutrahse the 
projectile capacity of the French rifle was a still 
stronger reason why nobody ever thought of using 
them in war. 

Moreover, the Germans left at Compiegne, and on 
several battlefields of France, pouches, carefully put 
in a conspicuous position, of French cartridges which 
they had made into dum-dum bullets by scooping 
out the protruding end. The object of this artifice 
was to give currency to the belief that these prohibited 
missiles were used by the French troops. 

The following is the reply made by the President 
of the United States to the Emperor of Germany. 
" In reply to your protest, the United States can do 
nothing. I do not think your Majesty expects me 
to say more." 

Doctors attached to the German Medical Service 
have admitted that the german accusation 
WAS False 

People who allowed themselves to be deceived by 
an accusation which had its origin in Germany soon 
received proof, and from Germany too, that the 
accusation was false. 

Professor Straub, of Freiburg in Bresgau, published 
in a Munich medical journal the results of his inquiry 
into the nature of the French bullet. He admitted 
that, from the medical point of view, this bullet was 
composed of an admirable alloy, which could not 
poison, and he came to the conclusion that it was 
humane. Dr. Haberlin, a Swiss doctor attached to 
the hospitals at Arlon and at Louisburg, where he had 



48 GERMAN USE OF PROHIBITED 

chiefly German wounded under his care, declared 
on his honour that he had never heard tell of wounds 
inflicted on Germans by dum-dum bullets. 

DuM-DUM Bullets used Against the Russians 

That the Germans used dum-dum bullets against 
the Russians was proved in a hospital at Vilna, where 
a lieutenant-colonel in the Russian infantry, wounded 
in the leg, chanced to be under treatment. The 
wound, which at its entrance was smaller than a 
penny, was as large as a hand where the bullet left 
the body. 

The photograph of one of the dum-dum bullets 
used in this way was given by the NovoU Vremia on 
17th September, 1914. 

Moreover, the German missiles used against the 
Russian troops often gave off poisonous gases which 
caused the death of the wounded, and which were 
expressly forbidden by the Hague Conventions (1899) 
under the category of " projectiles, the sole purpose 
of which is to spread asphyxiating or noxious gases." 

The Same Practices followed in Austria 

The use of explosive bullets by the German troops 
was regularly followed by their allies, the Austrians, 
both on the Russian front and the Serbian. 

The superintendent of the Red Cross at Petrograd 
was informed at the beginning of the war by his 
deputy at the first outpost detachment that, after 
Austrian field works had been taken, a large quantity 
of explosive bullets in special pouches and in belts 
for use in machine-guns had been found, and also 
many spent cartridges which had been adapted for 



IMPLEMENTS OF WAR 49 

this kind of bullet. These bullets bore the date 1914, 
and were used on every occasion that the Russians 
took the offensive. 

On the other hand, " The use of explosive bullets 
by the Austrians," declared an official note of the 
Russian Government, "has been often proved by 
medical reports and photographs of wounds." Car- 
tridges and bullets which have been captured leave 
no doubt on that point. The Russian troops which 
had succeeded in taking the village of Lajenki, near 
Nemirof, found there 10,000 explosive bullets, the 
place of origin of which is obvious from the fact that 
they had the stamp of an Austrian arsenal upon them. 

On the 2ist October, near Przemsyl, the Russian 
troops took some machine-guns, the belts of which 
were full of cartridges with explosive bullets. 

Moreover, all the Serbian generals without excep- 
tion declared that the Austrians employed explosive 
bullets on the whole Serbian front. The first ten 
rounds from the machine-guns were always, they 
said, made with this kind of bullet, and the Austrian 
soldiers were provided with explosive cartridges in 
the proportion of 20 per cent. 

Again, Dr. Reiss, professor at the University of 
Lausanne, who was sent to Serbia as a special com- 
missioner of the Gazette de Lausanne, and who re- 
turned from his expedition on the loth December, 
told of numerous Austrian bullets which had been 
found on Balkan battlefields and which all the 
marksmen to whom they were shown declared to be 
explosive. 



CHAPTER VII 

german treachery on the battlefield 

Abuse of the Privilege allowed to Bearers of 
A Flag of Truce and to Prisoners 

The following are some examples of this dastardly 
conduct. At Liege, the Germans resorted to it against 
the Commandant of the Bucelles fort, upon whom 
they treacherously made a murderous attack. They 
appeared with a flag of truce and demanded the sur- 
render of the fort. ** I refuse," he replied. " Com- 
mandant," was the answer, " come and see the 
condition of your defence works. You will agree 
that they can hold out no longer." 

The Commandant went off with the Germans, 
intending to show them the satisfactory condition 
of the works. Scarcely had he crossed the threshold 
when they fired their revolvers at him. The brave 
officer received two bullets in the thigh and only by 
chance got away from this murderous attack. 

A similar case happened during the siege of Liege. 
On the night of 5-6th August about a hundred German 
soldiers came to a point 750 metres from the Belgian 
trenches, and, throwing down their arms, held up 
their hands and waved white flags. The Belgian 
Commandant gave the order to cease firing, and went 
towards the spot with some men. He had hardly 
gone more than about thirty yards when he fell, 
mortally wounded. 

50 



GERMAN TREACHERY 51 

Near Hofstade, in Belgium, on the 26th August, the 
Germans advanced to the attack in the same way, 
preceded by a white flag. 

In a battle which took place sixty kilometres from 
Lemberg, the Austrians resorted to the same means. 
The regiment of the Russian Colonel Frolow having 
attacked them with the bayonet, they hoisted the 
white flag. The colonel immediately gave the order 
to halt. He himself went alone to the enemy's position 
and gave the order to cease firing. In vain, for as he 
was going back to his men he was mortally wounded. 

Other Forms of German Treachery 

One form of treachery repeated very often by the 
Germans was to sound the bugle calls of enemy troops 
and thus mislead them. In the thick of the battles 
round about Mulhausen, in the beginning of August, 
the French were not a little surprised to hear the call 
to cease firing. Fortunately, one of the superior 
officers saw through the enemy's treachery and im- 
mediately ordered the signal to be given for attack, 
which sent the Germans flying helter-skelter. As 
such acts in German eyes are permissible stratagems, 
they constantly resorted to them. Another consisted 
in marching civilians of the invaded countries in front 
of the German troops. One of the officers who did this. 
Lieutenant A. Eberlein, has with extraordinary com- 
posure related in one of the most reputable German 
newspapers {Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten, 7th 
October, 19 14) how he resorted to this device. 

" We stopped three people," writes this officer, " as 
we were going into Saint Die; and then a fine idea 
occurred to me. We gave them chairs, and ordered 
them to carry these into the middle of the street and 



52 GERMAN TREACHERY 

sit down. Entreaties followed on the one side, and 
some blows with the butt-end of the rifle on the other. 
By degrees one gets frightfully harsh. At last they sat 
down outside in the street. I do not know what prayers 
they said, but their hands were all the time clasped as if 
they had cramp. I was sorry for them, but the plan 
served its purpose and at once the firing aimed from the 
houses at our flanks immediately slackened, and we 
could now occupy the house opposite and in that way 
had command of the principal street. Everybody who 
showed himself in the street after this was shot. More- 
over, the artillery had been hard at work all this time, 
and when, at seven o'clock in the evening, the brigade 
came up to our rescue, I was able to report, * Saint 
Die is cleared of enemies.' 

*' As I learnt later, the reserve regiment . . . which 
entered Saint Die further north, had experiences exactly 
like ours. The four people whom they also had com- 
pelled to sit in the street were killed by French bullets. 
I myself saw them lying in the middle of the street 
near the hospital." 

According to information which will complete the 
story and which appeared two months later in the 
Saint Die Gazette Vosgienne, the names of the four 
people stopped by the reserve regiment " which 
entered Saint Die further north " were Camille Chotel, 
carpenter, aged thirty-four years ; Leon George, twenty- 
seven; Henri Louzy and Georges Visser. They were 
compelled, not merely to sit down, but to march in 
front of the German detachment. 

The same thing happened elsewhere on other 
occasions. 

In Belgium, near Liege, on the 6th August, when 
two captive Belgian soldiers who had been forced 



ON THE BATTLEFIELD 53 

to march before the German troops met their death 
at the hands of their fellow-countrymen. At Dietz, 
on the 26th August, several women and children, 
who had been barbarously compelled to play the same 
part, were struck by the fire of the German troops. 

At Marchiennes several hundred persons were driven 
in front of a German column. At Erpe, on the 12th 
September, a German column of two hundred to 
three hundred men, which had been fired upon by 
a Belgian machine-gun, took twenty to twenty-five 
young men, among whom was a lad of only thirteen 
years, and placed them in the middle of the road, 
with the result that these young people were in the 
line of fire. Two were wounded and the firing was 
stopped. In the fight at Alost, on the 26th September, 
the Germans drove before them several people, whose 
names are given by the Belgian Commission of Inquiry 
in one of their reports. At Lierre-Sainte-Marie four 
priests officiating in a church were taken by the 
Prussians, because they had not been quick enough 
in bringing the service to a close and had thereby 
delayed the quartering of the troops in the church. 
On the following day they were obliged to march 
in front of the soldiers and all four were killed. 

In France the same crime was repeated twenty 
times. We shall not record all the cases. In the 
battle at Billy, on the loth August, according to an 
official report of the French Commandant, the Germans 
compelled several women and children to march in 
front of them, as a screen for themselves and to prevent 
the French firing on them as they were coming out 
of the village and filing on to the battlefield. 

In the Belfort area the Germans stripped a great 
number of prisoners, drove them in front of their 



54 GERMAN TREACHERY 

line, and exposed them almost naked to the French 
bullets. 

At Denain, on the 25th August, the German cavalry, 
at two o'clock in the morning, compelled women and 
children to march in front of the column ; at Mery (in 
the Department of the Oise), during a battle with the 
French on the ist September, the Germans seized 
the manager of a sugar-refinery, his family, and the 
whole staff of the works, and made them march side 
by side with them, as a screen against a fusillade on 
their flank. As a result, a workwoman. Mile. Jeansenne, 
was killed by a French bullet. The foreman of the 
works was wounded. 



CHAPTER VIII 

BOMBARDMENT OF UNDEFENDED TOWNS. CRIMES 

COMMITTED DURING BOMBARDMENT. DEFINITION OF 

BOMBARDMENT 

The bombardment of towns, villages, and dwelling- 
houses is forbidden when these places have no military 
defence. If they have, bombardment is permitted, 
but under certain conditions. The commander who 
carries it on is bound to give notice beforehand to the 
enemy authorities, or at least to do everything he can 
to warn them. In the second place, bombardment 
must spare buildings dedicated to religion, science, 
and philanthropy, and also hospitals and centres for 
the sick and wounded, provided, of course — 

(i) that these buildings have not been used for 
military purposes ; 

(2) that they are distinguished by some mark 
besiegers can see. 

Consequently, the crimes which an army may com- 
mit, so far as bombardment is concerned, are as 
follows — 

(i) bombardment of an undefended town or 
village. 

(2) bombardment of a town or village without 
previous notice. 

(3) bombardment of churches, monuments, 
scientific and charitable institutions, hospitals, 
ambulances. 

55 



56 BOMBARDMENT OF 

Undefended Towns bombarded by the 
Germans 

The Germans committed all these crimes simultane- 
ously, but the least excusable and most cruel of all 
was the bombardment of towns which the enemy had 
evacuated, and to which, therefore, he could render no 
further aid. 

Three French towns and districts, Pont-a-Mousson, 
Douai, and Lille, met with this fate from artillery and 
aeroplanes. 

Bombardment of Pont-A-Mousson 

This began on the nth August, continued the follow- 
ing day, then on the 14th August and finally became 
intermittent. The firing on the town was resumed more 
than a hundred times. It was an open town, however, 
and the French army were not defending it, further 
than that the bridge over the Moselle had been put in 
a state of defence at the outbreak of hostilities by the 
26th light infantry battalion. 

Moreover, the bombardment of Pont-a-Mousson took 
place without previous warning, and was not preceded 
by any notice, nor any occupation by the German troops, 
who did not even show themselves (on the nth, 12th 
and 14th August) before the town. The operation was 
carried out by means of guns placed in concealment on 
the other side of the frontier. The firing was directed 
by an airship flying over the batteries. 

Acts of this kind are the proof of a deliberate and 
premeditated desire to destroy and to terrorise. In 
this case destruction is here not the inevitable sequence 
to attack and defence, but an end pursued for its own 
sake in contravention and defiance of established laws. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 57 

Thanks to the signals given by the airship, the German 
batteries were able to damage the St. Martin quarter, 
on the right bank of the Moselle, and the site of the new 
hospital and the college. The hospital was flying the 
Red Cross flag, but was struck precisely for that very 
reason : a shell burst near the bed in which a wounded 
Saxon officer was under treatment. Fortunately, no 
one in the hospital was wounded, though not less than 
seventy shells struck the building during the 14th 
August. In the rest of the town forty people were 
killed and as many wounded. They were women and 
children. 

Bombardment of Douai 

Towards the end of the month of August the town of 
Douai served as a storehouse for numerous German 
troops. It was formerly occupied on the ist October. 
The outrages which it suffered from the Germans on 
the 8th and 12th October were committed against a 
town which it was, in fact, impossible for the French to 
defend. On the 8th October a Taube bombarded Douai, 
throwing two bombs, which did little damage. On the 
1 2th October a second Taube threw another bomb, which 
burst behind M. Mathieu's house, in the Rue d'Hesdin, 
and killed a little girl named Briois, aged five years, 
who was closing the windows of a house. 

Bombardment of Lille 

On the loth October, when the French were coming 
up to Lille, the Germans forcibly carried off M. Delesalle, 
mayor of the town ; M. Ducastel, municipal councillor, 
and several other municipal officials. Then, when they 
had almost evacuated the town, they directed against 
it a furious bombardment, which began on the evening- 



58 BOMBARDMENT OF 

of the loth October and continued, with a short interval, 
until the 12th October at 9 o'clock in the morning. The 
Rue Faidherbe was completely demolished and the 
end of the Rue de THopital Militaire was terribly 
damaged. Many fires broke out in the Rues de Paris, 
du Melinel and de Bethune. The town hall, the pre- 
fecture, the post office, the Palais des Beaux Arts were 
injured. The Kulmann and Wallaert works were burnt 
down. The Times correspondent stated that a bomb 
thrown by a Taube, near the prefecture, wounded a 
woman who was walking along, and killed by her side 
her little son, aged twelve years. 

Let us repeat that this bombardment of Lille took 
place when the French were only coming up to the town 
and that the latter had not been completely evacuated 
by the Germans, who were, therefore, guilty of violation 
of the laws of war. It was the same with the bombard- 
ment carried on upon the nth and 12th November. 
On this occasion also the allied troops were only coming 
up. More than 7000 shells fell on the town during the 
time the Germans remained there. The presence of the 
Germans is proved by one abominable detail. It is 
a fact that they had cut the water-pipes in order that 
the fires kindled by the bombardment could not be 
put out. A little later they were compelled to blow up 
houses with melinite to stop the fire which was spreading 
in all directions. 

At the beginning of the month of December Lille 
had a total of 998 burnt houses. During the bombard- 
ment the College Saint- Joseph, which was flying a 
white flag as a signal that it should be spared, was 
struck by two shells. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 59 

Bombardment of Belgrade 

On account of its geographical situation the capital 
of Serbia was evacuated by Serbian troops. Only 
civilians remained and the Red Cross flag was hoisted. 
Consequently the town was entitled to think itself 
immune from outrage and bombardment. Nothing 
of the kind was the case. 

Belgrade was bombarded on the 28th and 30th July, 
then from the i6th to the i8th August, and finally on 
the 14th and 15th September. Several quarters of 
the town were burnt; many of the inhabitants were 
killed, amongst others two mental patients in a private 
asylum. 

As soon as a fire broke out, the places round the 
burning building were riddled with bullets, so that the 
residents could neither put out the fire nor localise it. 

In the midst of all the turmoil the Serbian Govern- 
ment took care to lodge its complaint with the Powers, 
through their representatives. 

Bombardments without Notice 

We should not forget that the notice of bombardment 
required by the laws of war was impossible in more cases 
than one. Moreover, it is admitted that attacking 
troops are absolved from the charge of breach of these 
laws, when they do all they can to give warning. Be- 
sides, warning of bombardment is not always required to 
make an attacked town expect it. We could not, there- 
fore, regard as a contravention of law all bombardments, 
without exception, which the Germans had made without 
giving notice. But, this said, can we allow to pass the 
circumstance that, of all these bombardments, only two, 
those of Antwerp and Reims, were preceded by the 



6o BOMBARDMENT OF 

necessary warning? German callousness and cruelty 
stand self-condemned by the fact that the proportion 
is so small. Add that the bombardment of Reims, 
started on the pretext that two German bearers of a 
flag of truce, who had lost their way in the French lines, 
were not brought back quickly enough, was in itself a 
sheer outrage. 

Towns bombarded behind the Lines 

One kind of bombardment for which there is no excuse 
is that in which German aircraft engaged over towns 
and villages behind the enemy lines, out of the reach 
of German guns and sometimes even outside the theatre 
of war. It is certain that the intention to give oneself 
up to such acts absolutely precludes respect for open 
towns and for preliminary warnings. It is the proof 
of an absolute contempt for the laws of war, and of a 
fixed determination to act contrary to ordinary good 
sense. 

The bombing of Paris, Antwerp (25th August to 
2nd Sept.), Dunkirk, Warsaw — towns all of which were 
situated, when the attack took place, out of the range of 
German cannon, is an outrage of a special kind. No 
military object was in view, but merely a desire to 
terrorise the civil population. At Paris six people were 
killed and about thirty wounded : at Antwerp there 
were twelve people killed and twenty-five wounded; 
at Dunkirk about fifteen were killed and more than 
twenty wounded; at Warsaw 106 people were injured. 
All these victims — except at Warsaw, where among 
the people struck were nine soldiers — were civilians, for 
the most part women, children and old men. Hence 
we understand the indignation aroused among neutrals 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 6i 

by these bombardments, and the care which several 
nations took to protest against them. 

The American Committee, founded by the United 
States ambassador in Paris, and consisting of the most 
influential Americans resident in Paris, was entrusted 
with the duty of keeping an eye upon the conduct of 
Germans on the outskirts of the French capital and 
above it. They were indignant at the deadly acts of 
the German aeroplanes in Paris, and dispatched a report 
on the subject. As for the throwing of bombs on 
Antwerp, the American newspapers denounced it and 
emphatically assigned it to its category. The World 
described this kind of attack as " murder, pure and 
simple "; *' dynamite for children," said the New York 
Herald ; the New York Times spoke of " crime against 
humanity " ; and the Tribune energetically protested 
against the repetition of murder so blind, so purposeless 
and so unpardonable. 

Bombardment of Malines And Lierre 

When the Belgians took Malines again, on the 25th 
August, the Germans began to bombard it. This act 
can only be put down to a thirst for vengeance. They 
made violent efforts to demolish it quarter by quarter 
by bursting shells. One shell struck a bakehouse and 
killed two workmen in it. The cathedral, the museum, 
the town hall, St. Peter's Church, the magistrates' 
court, and all the buildings round about the " Grand 
Place " were badly damaged, and the ministers of 
State of the Triple Entente, who visited Malines on the 
13th September, saw shells smashing in before their eyes 
the pro-cathedral of Saint-Rombaud, full of miracles 
of art, where Van Dyck's "Christ upon the Cross" 
towered high above the tombs of the archbishops; 



62 BOMBARDMENT OF 

they witnessed also the destruction of the famous old 
carillon of the pro-cathedral, and the belfries of churches, 
convents and seminaries buried beneath the ruins 
(vide the photograph of one of the chapels of " Our 
Lady of Malines " after the Germans had passed by, in 
L' Illustration for the 3rd October). 

What is left of Malines ? A German journalist, war- 
correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt, undertook to 
reply to this question, in a description, entitled Malines 
the Dead, of the town in the condition in which the 
German bombardment left it. 

" Life has become extinct. The town is dead. The 
sixty thousand inhabitants have fled. The melancholy 
houses stand open. The streets are empty. German 
soldiers go up and down. In the Grand Place, the 
wool-market, the Place d'Egmont, at the railway sta- 
tion, soldiers are working in larger groups, but the 
ordinary residents are wanting. 

" The emptiness and the havoc in these venerable- 
looking streets are so awful and so overwhelming that 
one's breath is stopped and one recalls with terror the 
legend of towns that bore a curse upon them. What no 
one has ever seen, what Hoffmann and Edgar Poe have 
never dreamed of in their morbid visions, has here 
become a reality. 

*' In the midst of the town rises the cathedral, a 
Gothic building of gigantic size. The tower, 100 metres 
high, bounds the horizon on the west. At the top, at a 
height which makes the brain reel, four dials, fourteen 
metres in diameter, are twisted and riddled with bullets. 
Shells have hollowed out seven holes in the wall." 

Lierre, a town of 26,000 inhabitants, was, like Malines, 
pitilessly bombarded towards the end of September. 

When the cannonade began the inhabitants concealed 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 63 

themselves in cellars, but shortly afterwards they fled. 
Several among them took refuge in Antwerp. Many 
houses in the town were destroyed and a certain number 
of people were wounded. A shell even struck a hospital 
and killed nine persons. 

Bombardment of Mars-la-Tour 

The village of Mars-la-Tour, in Lorraine, was bom- 
barded by the Germans on the i6th August, the 
anniversary of the battle which took place in 1870. They 
cannonaded the memorial church, Abbe Faller's Music 
patriotique, and the monument to commemorate the 
battle of 1870. The bombardment lasted a full hour, 
and took place with mathematical regularity. Only 
one house was damaged, which proves that the build- 
ings mentioned were the carefully chosen target of the 
German guns; two persons, an old mechanic and a 
woman, were fatally injured. The other inhabitants 
took refuge in the cellars. 

Bombardment of Etain 

On the 24th August, at one o'clock in the afternoon, 
the bombardment of Etain began. Suspended for 
some hours, it began again at nearly eleven p.m. and 
lasted until two a.m. The results were frightful. The 
next morning half the town was in ashes; the other 
half was falling into ruins. The Red Cross hospital 
in particular was aimed at. The first shell struck down 
the white flag, while Dr. Proust was operating on the 
wounded : the latter had to be hidden away in the cellars, 
whence they were driven to Verdun (Report of Mme. 
Paul, President of the Committee of the Association des 
Dames Frangaises at Etain). 



64 BOMBARDMENT OF 

Bombardment of Albert 

The bombardment of Albert took place on the 30th 
August. We may judge how violent it was from a 
photograph of the ruins which appeared in L' Illustration 
for the loth October. Whole streets disappeared, and 
the whole Place d'Armes was demolished : the Germans 
made a target of Notre Dame de Brebieres, the basihca 
which the inhabitants call the Lourdes of the North, and 
to which so many pilgrimages make their way each 
year. This church was completely ruined by the sacri- 
legious fire expressly aimed at it, and the Statue of the 
Miraculous Virgin which crowned it is to-day thrown 
down and lies upon the ground. All around there 
is nothing but building material that has fallen in, 
half-burnt beams, charred walls, houses without roofs, 
broken tiles, doors broken in, cut up by grapeshot. 

Bombardment of Nancy 

The French Commission of Inquiry, in its report, 
published in the Journal Officiel of the 8th January, 
1914, states that the capital of Lorraine was bombarded 
'* without previous warning during the night of the 9th 
to loth September. About sixty shells (continues this 
report) fell on the central and southern-cemetery dis- 
tricts — that is to say, on places where there is no military 
defence. Three men, a young woman, and a little girl 
were killed, thirty people were wounded, and serious 
damage was done." 

" Enemy airmen flew over the town twice. On the 
4th September one of them threw two bombs, one of 
which killed a man and a little girl, and wounded six 
people on the * Place de la Cathedrale.' On the 13th 
October three bombs were thrown on the goods station. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 65 

Four employees of the Eastern Railway Company were 
wounded." 



First Bombardment of Reims 

The story of the first bombardment of Reims was 
told in the Temps of the 26th October by M. Henriot, 
who had the opportunity of interviewing an influential 
resident in the town. 

On the 4th September, whilst Zimmer, head of the 
German Stores Department, was negotiating the terms 
of a levy to be paid by the village, a shell, says M. 
Henriot, burst hard by. 

"What was that explosion?" cried the German. 
" You know you have no right to destroy anything." 
He thought that the French were blowing up some out- 
work. Another shell disabused him. Then he thought 
the French had begun to fire on the town in order to 
drive the Germans. The local people undeceived him. 
One of them ran out to the Place and brought back a 
fragment of shell, which the commissary was compelled 
to admit was a German missile. Then he was seen to 
grow pale, nor could he understand how his own troops 
should engage in such an attack. The white flag was 
hoisted on one of the belfries of the cathedral : at the 
same time Zimmer sent a motor to give the order to 
cease firing. In the space of three-quarters of an hour 
there fell upon the town 200 shells, which struck Saint- 
Remi and Saint-Andre churches, broke down houses, 
and killed sixty people. That was the first bombard- 
ment of Reims, due, as was then believed, to a mis- 
understanding. Zimmer expressed his regrets for it, 
and cried in tones of wonder, *' What a fine cathedral 
you have ! " 



66 BOMBARDMENT OF 

Second Bombardment of Reims 
(i8th to 2oth September) 

The bombardment of the 4th September took place 
by order of General Biilow, as a reprisal for the disap- 
pearance of two bearers of a flag of truce, MM. Armim 
and Kimmer, who had been sent by him on the evening 
before to Reims. On account of these two worthies, 
who, without fulfilling their mission, had lost their way 
in the French lines, the town found that it was threatened 
with the execution of ten hostages, with bombardment, 
and with a levy of 100 million francs. The second 
bombardment took place some days afterwards under 
circumstances of barbarism which will hold it up to the 
execration of the ages. In the past history of Europe 
there is nothing to compare with the destruction of the 
Cathedral of Reims, save that of the Acropolis of Athens 
by the Venetians. This cathedral was pitilessly bom- 
barded for two days (i8th to 20th September) : the 
masterpiece of Gothic art, honoured by the coronation 
of the kings of France, where Jeanne d'Arc put the 
crown upon Charles VII in 1429, became the target of 
destructive shells, hurled by the Vandals. 

The following is a faithful account of this event, 
telegraphed to the Daily Mail by the special correspon- 
dent of that paper — 

*' By artillery fire deliberately aimed at the Cathedral 
of Reims, the Germans set fire to and burnt the magnifi- 
cent building, which was not merely the pride of the 
town, but an historic monument known and admired 
by the entire world. Of this jewel of architecture 
there remains only an empty shell, burnt and charred 
walls. The impression left by this act of hideous 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 67 

vandalism will never leave the memory of those who 
have had an opportunity of seeing these ruins. 

"The sight of flames devouring a wonder which took 
not less than 150 years to build, and which was respected 
throughout numberless wars which took place in this 
part of France, was one which both alarms and haunts 
the mind. It seemed as if one were present at an attack 
by some supernatural power, outside humanity : it was 
like the vision of a work of hell. 

"The fire began between four and five o'clock on 
Saturday afternoon (19th September). All day shells 
fell in the town. A whole district of the town, 100 
metres in extent, was devoured by the fire, and in the 
majority of streets only blazing houses and buildings 
were to be seen. 

" Even on the evening before (i8th September) some 
shells had accidentally struck the cathedral. On 
Saturday morning the German batteries of Nogent 
I'Abbesse, eight kilometres to the east of Reims, started 
aiming at the cathedral. Shells discharged regularly 
and without intermission made a breach in it. These 
huge blocks of stone, which had resisted the storms of 
several centuries, and might still have braved the 
assaults of time, sank with a fearful crash like the roll 
of thunder. 

" At 4.30 the scaffolding on a part of the cathedral 
where repairs were going on took fire. In a moment this 
mass of woodwork and scaffolding began to blaze like 
straw. Sparks falling on the roof carried the fire to the 
old oak beams which support this part of the building. 
Soon the roofs of the naves and the transepts were 
nothing but a blazing brazier, and the flames darted out 
and licked the towers. One of the burning beams fell 
on a bed of straw which the Germans, as soon as they 



68 BOMBARDMENT OF 

occupied the town, had spread inside the cathedral to 
lay their wounded on. At once the confessionals, the 
chairs, and everything which happened to be inside the 
building took fire. 

" I had left Paris at midday and I had made a detour 
round Meaux. I did not get as far as Reims until sun- 
down. It was too late to enter the town, but from the 
hills which surround it, it was possible to get a still more 
impressive view of the town than what I should have 
been able to see in the streets themselves. 

" From the gaping roof rose red fire and black smoke, 
and the reflection of the flames glanced upon the glass- 
work. At last the dead of night came on, but it was 
not undisturbed for long. At two o'clock in the morning 
the German batteries reopened fire. By day it is the 
smoke of the shell which calls attention to the explosion. 
By night the swift red flashes make a still more terrible 
spectacle. 

" The dawn came, grey and gloomy with a cold rain, 
and when the shadows were dispelled and light at length 
glimmered through the dismal leaden-coloured clouds, 
which rose and brought the plain into view again, the 
sight of the ravaged city with its ruined cathedral, the 
walls of which smouldered among houses still in flames, 
was a spectacle so dismal that the sun in his course can 
have seen none more wretched in any quarter of the 
world." 

Damage to the Cathedral of Reims 

According to the report of the Commission of Inquiry, 
which had as President the French Under-Secretary 
for Fine Arts, and whose task was to prepare official 
accounts of the damage done to the Reims Cathedral, 
the following were the results of the bombardment — 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 69 

" The cathedral was struck by about thirty pro- 
jectiles which, by actually striking the building or by 
explosion, pulverised the stonework, smashed the glass, 
and set fire to everything inflammable. 

" Projectiles, fragments of which struck the whole 
building, for the most part hit the upper part of the 
north tower, smashing the corner of a turret, scraping 
the face of the tower, and pressing so hard upon the 
adjoining masonry as nearly to displace it ; one of them 
carried away the upper support of a flying buttress; 
another smashed the stonework of some bays sloping 
up to the tower ; another broke up a staircase the steps 
of which had been cut ; still another knocked down part 
of the balustrade of the principal fa9ade under the 
rose-window. 

" The fire kindled by the shells caused the most 
serious damage ; no vestige of roof is to be seen over the 
nave, the transepts, the choir, the apse, the aisles : only 
some chapels kept their covering; but everything else 
was reduced to ashes, the woodwork, the slates con- 
sumed ; everywhere lead melted and iron twisted. 

*' All this debris settled down beneath the vaulted 
roofs, which, although they evidently suffered by con- 
tact with the fire, were not broken in. 

" On the other hand, the stonework close to the great 
gallery at the top of the walls, and of the circular 
galleries underneath the great glasswork, was shattered 
and charred. 

** The belfry was devoured by the flames. The bells, 
which fell on the lower roof without breaking it in, were 
partly melted ; the louvre-boards were untouched. The 
flames started by the conflagration, driven over the 
surfaces by the wind, completely defaced the stonework, 
throwing down not only some of the statues which 



70 BOMBARDMENT OF 

decorated the open entrance underneath this particular 
tower, but also the copings of the arches which rise above 
the door, crowned by a gable containing a representation 
of the Crucifixion. The damage extends to the pinnacles 
that rise above the buttresses as high as the gallery of 
kings. 

'* The right side of this portal was less damaged ; 
the other portals were struck by fragments of 
shells. 

" In the interior, where German wounded had been 
laid out on couches of straw, the fire splintered off the 
moulding at the bases of the pillars in the nave, setting 
fire to the tympana of the gates and even to the gates 
themselves. This fire destroyed the statues placed in the 
niches of the inner front, right and left of the door of 
the south entrance. Finally, all the glasswork was 
damaged by the explosion of projectiles and of splinters 
which passed through them ; half of the upper rose- 
window and the open-work parts above the north and 
south entrances were denuded of their stained glass ; 
the rose-window above the central entrance was only 
riddled. 

'* To sum up, the cathedral was disfigured in its out- 
lines and in the details of its decoration ; if its powerful 
construction has partly sustained the shock of the pro- 
jectiles, its wonderful sculptures can never be replaced, 
and it will bear for ever the imprint of a vandalism 
beyond all imagination." 

" See also photographs of the burning cathedral in 
L'lllustration (loth October, 1914. These photographs 
are genuine historic documents. See also M. P. Gsell's 
account in the Liberie of the 24th September and Mr. 
Bartlett's in the Daily Telegraph, in L'lllustration of 
the 26th). 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 71 

Other Results of the Second Bombardment 
OF Reims (i8th to 20th September) 

The cathedral was not the only objective of the second 
bombardment. Not only were several houses also 
destroyed and several people killed, amongst others 
Dr. Jacquin, who lived next door to the mayor, but the 
Spanish consulate was bombarded, with the result that 
several neutral subjects met their death, a fact which 
was noted in a preceding chapter. The town hall,, 
the musee, the sub-prefecture (historic monuments all 
of them) were almost wholly demolished. An auxiliary 
hospital of the Societe des Soeurs de T Enfant- Jesus was 
also cannonaded, and five Red Cross nurses were killed 
and two others wounded at the bedside of the wounded 
whom they had under their care. 

Fresh Bombardments of the Cathed ^al of 
Reims (20th to 27th November) 

After the 20th September, and in spite of the universal 
indignation aroused by the outrage which they had 
committed, the Germans continued the bombardment 
of Reims without intermission. But it was not until 
the last days of the month of November that the 
cathedral suffered fresh damage. 

On the 23rd November a shell struck and went right 
through a bell-turret in the south tower at the top ; on 
the 27th another shell, falling between the south but- 
tresses, burst on the vault of the aisle. A third shell 
which fell on the vaults above the south apse, brought 
down a great deal of plaster in the church. A huge 
shell, which fell to the right of the cathedral, a little 
in front of the facade, damaged three statues over the 
small entrance to the right which until then had escaped. 



72 BOMBARDMENT OF 

It was but one of many other calamities and one which 
completed the ruin of an historic monument. After 
the 2oth November other shells destroyed a pinnacle, 
a part of the upper gallery in the apse and a part of this 
gallery beside the Salle des Rois. 

Of the archbishop's palace and the musees there 
remain, in a word, only the walls. 

As for the statues in the cathedral which appear 
unharmed, they are burnt right through and crumble 
away at the touch. The crime of the barbarians is 
complete. 

The Bombardment of the Cathedral of 
Reims is Inexcusable 

In the words of M. Delcasse, the French Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, in the protest addressed by him to the 
governments of neutral states on the morning after 
the first bombardment, the Germans committed this 
crime " without being able to appeal even to the appear- 
ance of military necessity and for the mere lust of 
destruction." 

Nevertheless the Germans tried to justify it by 
alleging — 

(i) That by means of strong entrenchments the 
French had made Reims the chief corner-stone of 
their defence, and thus forced Germans to attack 
the town by every means. 

(2) That by the order of the German higher com- 
mand, the cathedral was to be spared as long as 
the enemy did not utilise it to his own advantage ; 
but in spite of the white flag which had been hoisted 
upon it from the 20th September, the Germans 
declared that there was on the cathedral towers 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 73 

an observation post which assisted the operations of 
the French artillery. 

(3) That as soon as this post was destroyed the 
German field artillery ceased firing. 

(4) That only the roof of the cathedral was burnt, 
while the towers and the framework of the building 
were uninjured. (This statement goes back to the 
2ist September and emanates from the German 
chief headquarters.) 

(5) Finally, that the fire was due to the scaffold- 
ing erected in front of the cathedral to carry out 
some repairs, and that when beams which had 
caught fire had fallen on the roof, the French had 
done nothing to put out the fire. 

These several excuses are worthless — 

(i) General Joffre has formally declared that 
"at no time did the military commandant of 
Reims place any observation post on the towers 
of the cathedral." 

(2) It was not on the 20th, but on the 4th 
September, on the day of the first bombardment 
of Reims by the Germans, that the white flag was 
hoisted on the cathedral. 

(3) One wants to know to what moment the 
Germans assign the destruction of the alleged 
observation post on the cathedral. According 
to them, if this observation post had been 
destroyed they would have stopped the bombard- 
ment. Now, although for a long time every 
observation post had been made impossible, the 
fire still continued. 

(4) The report, quoted above, of the Commission 
des Beaux Arts, refutes the German assertion about 



74 BOMBARDMENT OF 

the seriousness of the damage caused up to the 
evening of the 2ist September. 

(5) Do not let us forget to recall the fact that, 
ten days before the bombardment, the German 
censorship permitted the Frankfurter Zeitung (of 
the 8th September) to recommend respect for 
French cathedrals, " especially that of Reims, 
which is one of the finest in the world, which, since 
the Middle Ages, has been especially dear to 
Germans, since the master of Bamberg was in- 
spired by the statues on its portals to design several 
of his figures, and which, like the other magnifi- 
cent churches of France, must be respected and 
treated with veneration by the Germans, as was 
the case with their fathers in 1870." However, 
the censorship did not prevent the appearance 
of the sinister warning, three days previously, 
in the Berliner Tagehlatt, in these w^ords : ** The 
western group of the Imperial Armies has already 
passed the second line of forts, except Reims, 
whose royal splendour, dating from the time of the 
white lily, will surely and soon crumble in the dust 
under the strokes of our 420 howitzers." 

The criminal responsibility of the commandant of 
the German forces has, therefore, been proved in this 
matter. 

Public Opinion throughout the World roused 

TO Indignation by the Bombardment of the 

Cathedral of Reims 

It is difiicult to describe the indignation roused 
throughout all countries of the civilised world by the 
bombardment of the cathedral of Reims. The news- 
papers of the whole planet were its living mouthpieces. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 75 

In Italy a number of learned institutions sent 
protests, either to the French Embassy at Rome or 
directly to the German authorities. 

The Association of Artists, especially, held a reunion, 
at which the most distinguished critics and artists of 
Italy were present, and which passed unanimously a 
resolution of protest. 

The Giornale d' Italia, echoing the indignation of its 
country, declared that " this act destroyed all the 
ingenious and fertile excuses for Germany's methods 
of war," and that " no act of reparation could wipe 
out this act of purposeless barbarism, a crazy exhibition 
of wounded vanity and ruffled pride." 

In Greece the newspapers were unanimous in 
stigmatising German vandalism. Nea Hellas wrote : 
" In the name of art, in the name of the Parthenon 
half destroyed by the fire of the Venetian Morosini, 
Greece, the mother of civilised nations, appeals to 
belligerents to respect treasures of art, and asks the 
Germans to cease to dishonour their country." 

In Spain the destruction of the cathedral of Reims 
partly destroyed the long preparation of Spanish 
opinion which had been carried on in favour of Germany^ 
The indignation of Spaniards was faithfully expressed 
by an article in the Liberal, in which the following 
words occur : ** It seemed that the universal anathema 
heaped upon the Germans after the destruction of 
Louvain would have restrained their acts of unjustifi- 
able destruction. The Emperor appeared to feel 
sorry in his letter of apologies addressed to the Presi- 
dent of the United States ; but his soldiers surpassed 
themselves, and the appalling barbarism of their 
achievement is unexampled in history." 

Finally, in America not only the general public but 
the Government were profoundly moved by the news 



76 BOMBARDMENT OF 

of the bombardment of one of the finest cathedrals in 
the world. The American Consul at Lausanne was 
instructed by his Government, on the day after the 
crime, to go to Reims and make an inquiry on the spot. 
As for American newspapers, the following are extracts 
from them — 

The Tribune said : " The destruction of the fine 
monument of the Middle Ages is an act of vandalism 
which puts German military methods on a level with 
those of the Goths and the Huns. The crime of 
destroying this venerable pile was committed by a 
nation which claims that its mission is to impose its 
civilisation on the rest of the world. By violating the 
laws of war, Germany is encouraging other nations 
to do the same." 

The World said : ** Prussian militarism has outdone 
everything previously seen in the category of vandalism. 
Throughout the centuries, since the destruction of the 
Parthenon, the world has known no such act." 

The Sun said : "In spite of the regrets which 
Germany pretends to express, we cannot fail to draw 
the conclusion that the cathedral of Reims was the 
target of a deliberate attempt to destroy." 

Bombardment of Gerbeviller 

The following are other examples of bombardments 
at this period, which were carried out at places less 
known, but in which the aim to destroy at any cost, 
by any means, and in violation of every law stands no 
less emphatically self-condemned. Of the picturesque 
little village of Gerbeviller there remains only a heap 
of stones, dust and ashes. The Germans bombarded 
it mercilessly in the month of August. Possibly this 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 77 

bombardment was due to necessity, but the precise aim 
of the German guns, posted in the outskirts of the 
village, reveals the criminal design at work. The 
village church was the chief object aimed at : it was 
burnt down by shell fire, the pretty palatine chapel 
demolished, and the chateau completely wiped out. 

Bombardment of Dompierre-aux-Bois 

On the 22nd September the Germans forced a way 
into Dompierre-aux-Bois. They entered each house 
with fixed bayonets, made all the men come out, and 
then shut them up in the church. On the following 
day it was the women's and children's turn, and so 
these poor people found they were compelled to face 
the fire of the German artillery which was let loose in 
the village. Men, women, children and old folk were, 
for five long days without ceasing, exposed to a rain 
of bombs and shells. 

On the 27th September the Germans lay in ambush 
in the country behind Troyon so as to be able to fire 
on the fort from which the French were bombarding 
them. During the artillery duel which followed, the 
Germans thought it well not to forget the wretched 
people of Dompierre-aux-Bois, who were still shut up 
in the church. About five p.m. they fired at the 
church and a shell fell upon it. Forty persons were 
killed or wounded by the hand of the same people who 
forced them to stay in this spot, and who, from being 
their gaolers, made themselves their executioners. 

Bombardment of Recquignies 

According to the evidence of Dr. Barbey {Echo de 
Paris of the 20th January), the first German shells 



78 BOMBARDMENT OF 

fired at Recquignies, in the beginning of the month of 
September, were aimed at the brewery, which the 
Red Cross flag upon it plainly marked as a refuge 
for the wounded. Four inhabitants were killed and 
two others were wounded. 



Bombardment of Soissons 

The town of Soissons was bombarded from the 
13th to the 17th September almost without inter- 
mission. The post office and the Grand Seminaire 
are in ruins. The cemetery quarter of the town was 
set on fire. Happily the cathedral suffered little. 
But the Germans deliberately and with precise aim 
fired at the hospital. This bombardment was without 
any reason that could be admitted, for the town ought 
to have been protected from artillery, as the Germans 
occupied the hills to the north of the town when the 
French troops had taken a position to the south-east 
and did not discharge a single shell at it. 

From the month of September the bombardment 
of Soissons was interrupted : it began again in the 
month of January. The Germans aimed their fire on 
the hospitals, the ambulances, and especially on all 
places where the wounded were gathered. During 
the bombardment, which was carried on almost every 
day in the month of January, the cathedral suffered 
a great deal; it was reckoned that in eight hours 
seventy-five shells of large calibre were fired at the 
building. The entrance, the pulpit, and one of the 
columns of the spire were ruined, and one of the bells 
broken. On the 15th January a young girl was killed 
in the Rue de la Barde, and many children fell victims 
to German barbarism. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 79 

Bombardment of Sampigny 

On the 15th September and the 8th October the 
Germans, with the desire to wreak revenge, bombarded 
the private residence of M. Poincare, the President 
of the French Repubhc. The second bombardment, 
in the course of which forty-eight shells were dis- 
charged at this residence, brought about its complete 
destruction. 

It is well to note that this destruction was never- 
theless denied by the Wolff agency, which declared 
that the story was a myth, and added that if the site 
upon which this residence stood had been burned, it 
could only have been done by the French artillery itself. 

Bombardment of Arras 

The town of Arras was included, during the month 
of October, in the theatre of military operations. The 
Germans found a pretext for destroying it by two 
bombardments, one on the 6th, the other on the 20th 
and 2ist October, which sowed destruction and death 
in this town. 

The first bombardment of Arras, which may be 
compared to that at Reims, was meant to destroy the 
town hall, a miracle of Flemish art, built at the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century, one of the finest 
ornaments of northern France. 

'* On the 6th October, at six a.m.," said the Liberie 
of the i6th October, ** the first shells fell near the 
railway station. A little afterwards a bomb fell on 
the roof of the town hall. All day long the guns 
belched forth death, destruction and terror. The 
inhabitants took refuge in the cellars, and even the 
wretched wounded also had to be brought down into 



8o BOMBARDMENT OF 

them, for, disregarding the Red Cross, the Germans 
phed with machine-guns all the streets round the 
town hall, in which there were several hospitals and 
ambulances. 

" The Hopital St. Jean was the scene of a frightful 
accident. A whole storey collapsed under the shells. 
A nun and some wounded happened to be in the storey 
below, and were buried underneath the ruins. It 
was not possible to recover their bodies until the 
evening, when the assassins of the Kaiser had ceased 
bombardment. 

" The musee, the cathedral, the Church of St. John the 
Baptiste, the old Convent of the Holy Sacrament, with 
its seventeenth-century campanile, and the Ursuline 
belfry (a reproduction of the old reliquary of the Holy 
Candle) were damaged. The shells fired at the 
cathedral pierced its roof in two places and laid bare 
the vault." 

The town hall alone was struck by nine-tenths of the 
explosive shells thrown at Arras. Finally, the two 
old towers, so stately and so peculiar in appearance, 
which were all that was left of the old abbey founded 
by Saint Eloi, in the village of that name near Arras, 
were demolished by the Germans, who bombarded 
them without any excuse, for the mere pleasure of 
destruction. 

The Germans cannot pretend that they did not 
know the site of all these monuments, nor that of the 
hospitals of Arras, for they had occupied the town one 
day in the beginning of September. No more can they 
allege that the French had made use of the quarter 
destroyed by them for attack or for self-defence, for 
this part of the town is in a hollow, which an army 
would never try to utilise. 



UNDEFENDED TOWNS 8i 

As for the second bombardment of Arras (20th to 
2ist October), it was aimed at the belfry, the incom- 
parable monument of the town which alone remained 
standing above the centre of the town hall. The 
building fell on the 21st, at eleven a.m., having been 
cut off close from the ancient roof of the structure 
round about it. 

The Outrage on Notre-Dame of Paris 

German aeroplanes made frequent moves towards 
Paris, of which we have already spoken. The outrage 
of the nth October, 1914, deserves special mention, 
for this time the machine aimed at the cathedral. An 
incendiary bomb was dropped on Notre-Dame. This 
bomb set fire to one of the inner beams of the roof, 
smashed six of the stays of the north transept, and 
riddled with grapeshot the glass frame of the clock in 
the same transept. 

This outrage, coming after that at Reims, roused 
fresh protests from neutral countries. The Messagero 
of Rome (13th October) declared, and with reason, 
that ** the murder of peaceful citizens and the crime of 
throwing bombs on Notre-Dame need no comment." 
These acts, the paper added, are a fresh crime against 
humanity and against art for which the civilised world 
will demand an account from the German people. 

Bombardment of Hazebrouck 

About the middle of November Hazebrouck suffered 
bombardment by a German aeroplane : a bomb killed 
a railway worker named Georges Demonvaux, and 
wounded two other people. The aviator came a 
second time, an hour afterwards, and threw three 

G 



82 BOMBARDMENT OF UNDEFENDED TOWNS 

more bombs, aiming at the English and French Red 
Cross hospitals, which, fortunately, were only slightly 
injured. 

Finally, to bring to an end the list of cruel bom- 
bardments, let us put on record that of Houplines 
(15th December), where fifty civilians were killed and 
St. Paul's Church was destroyed; those of Dunkirk 
(24th December and 22nd January), where, besides the 
murder of many civilians, the United States Consul 
was wounded, and the consulates of the United States, 
Norway and Uruguay were damaged. The hospital 
was also struck by bombs. Finally, let us note the 
bombardment of Bethune, which was carried on almost 
without intermission, which caused the death of ten 
people, and which was aimed at the hospital, in the 
court of which a shell had fallen and burst. 

The bombardment of Libau (in Courlande) is to be 
added to the foregoing. On the 28th March a German 
aeroplane caused the death of several persons and 
wounded a little girl. Let us add also that of Calais, 
where, quite recently, a Zeppelin damaged Notre- 
Dame Church. A chapel of the latter, dedicated to the 
Sacred Heart, had its vault broken in and its stained- 
glass windows shattered. These were of great artistic 
merit and represented scenes of the Crucifixion. 



CHAPTER IX 

killing of the wounded by germans 

The Wounded, the Red Cross, and the Geneva 
Convention 

What is the aim and object of battles between belli- 
gerent powers ? To put out of action as large a number 
as possible of enemy soldiers, and thus, as much as may 
be, to break the enemy's resistance. That, at least, is 
the conception of the aim of war entertained by all 
civilised nations, since only barbarians, from desire for 
revenge, from blindness and brutality, would seek to do 
injury for its own sake, and to seize the opportunity 
of a state of war to gratify their instincts for plunder. 
This conception, let us repeat, Germany, like all other 
nations, has countersigned in solemn covenants. 

Nevertheless, the aims which this war is laying bare 
in them are contrary to these pledges. 

In fact, we see Germany deliberately killing either 
those whom she could prevent fronl doing her any in- 
jury by keeping them as prisoners, or even those who 
were non-combatants. Some have thought that the 
Germans aimed, in a manner, at the annihilation of 
the race in nations hostile to Germany. It would be 
dreadful if this were the case. As for ourselves, we 
shall neither say that this has not been proved nor that 
it is impossible. What is certain is that the number of 
outrages committed by Germany can only be explained 
by a deliberate attempt at barbaric destruction. 

83 



84 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

Beyond question they have attempted to damage the 
property of the enemy. Pillage in their eyes has not 
been one of the more or less inevitable concomitants 
of war : it has been one of its deliberate aims. Moreover, 
the policy of terrorisation is a part of their general plan 
of action. In their view fear is a good ally of invasion, 
and in order to reap all the advantage of it they have 
left untried no form of violence or even of cruelty. 

Besides, we are not here concerned with policy shaped 
from above, by the Government or the higher command : 
in the rank and file we may take everything for granted. 
" Let us kill them all : there will be so many the fewer 
left." Who knows how often this monstrous thought 
has entered the brain of people whose cruelty and vio- 
lence is a part of their plans of war ? How often has it 
not been a necessity to kill, as to sack, in order to over- 
throw, to reduce, to weaken an enemy nation not merely 
in war, but in general, and even as regards the future in 
which rehabilitation might be anticipated. But civilised 
nations look to treaties to prevent the rehabilitation of 
the enemy. By looting and robbing industrial establish- 
ments, the property of private individuals, the Germans 
showed that their peculiar method was to try to prevent 
it by war itself, to draw up a schedule of barbarism which 
by its very nature endangers life itself, which includes 
murder as well as pillage. Thus we understand how 
the Germans, both in theory and practice, have violated 
the most widely accepted conventions which, in the 
midst of the havoc of war, limit the right to kill either 
civilians or soldiers. 

To begin with, the present chapter will be devoted 
to the complete denial of the principles of humanity laid 
down in the Geneva Convention. We reserve the right 
of discussion in subsequent chapters of the questions of 



BY GERMANS 85 

the treatment of prisoners, of the massacre of civiHans, 
etc. The violation of that part of the Convention of 
Geneva which bears upon the wounded and the Red 
Cross is, in fact, a dehberate crime, without any extenuat- 
ing circumstances ; it is inexcusable and unpardonable. 

What are the terms of the Convention of Geneva? 
That ** soldiers and other persons officially attached to 
armies shall, when wounded or sick, be respected and 
taken care of by the belligerent in whose power they may 
be, without distinction of nationality." The latter, 
therefore, must look for and collect the sick and wounded, 
and prevent every act by any third party which might 
do them injury. These sick and wounded will be 
prisoners of war, but " prisoners who must be taken care 
of." As for people attached to the Red Cross, it was 
declared, and Germany and Austria-Hungary subscribed 
both to this and to the preceding stipulations, that " the 
personnel engaged exclusively in the collection, trans- 
port and treatment of the wounded and sick, as well as in 
the administration of medical units and establishments, 
and the chaplains attached to armies, shall he respected 
and protected under all circumstances ; if they fall into 
the hands of the enemy they shall not be treated as 
prisoners of war." 



Principles of the Geneva Convention which 
Germans have violated 

We have already stated in the preceding chapter how 
seldom the Germans have carried out these principles, 
for, contrariwise, they have deliberately aimed their 
artillery at establishments for the shelter of the wounded, 
the sick, and the hospital services. This fact is not the 
only one which shows the contempt displayed by the 



86 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

Germans for the Geneva Convention. It seems that 
they have eagerly seized upon every opportunity which 
presented itself to violate this convention in every way. 
Not only have the wounded who fell into their hands 
not been properly treated by them, but in many in- 
stances these wounded have been put to death. Some- 
times, before killing them, they treated themselves to 
the enjoyment of making them suffer. It is scarcely 
credible, but it is true, that in more than one case the 
killing of the wounded assumed the form of a command 
issued by the officers themselves. We have said that the 
Germans have also fired on ambulances. They have 
killed and ill-treated Red Cross nurses, male and female, 
and the doctors engaged on Red Cross work. 

Killing of the Wounded ordered by Officers 

The German wounded are many. It followed, there- 
fore, that the German medical service was disinclined 
to encumber itself with relays of enemy wounded. 
Perhaps this is also the reason why orders were given 
to the soldiers to kill the wounded. General Stenger 
issued, on the 26th August, an order of the day giving 
instructions to make no more prisoners and to leave no 
living man behind. The authenticity of this order, the 
full text of which we give in the next chapter, was 
confirmed by the evidence of German prisoners. 

The prisoners cross-examined, says the Temps, which 
reported the depositions, belong to the 112th and 142nd 
infantry regiments. They were put on oath and signed 
the report of their examination. A soldier of the 142nd 
deposed that, on the 26th August, about three o'clock, 
he was in the van of his battalion in the forest of 
Thiaville when the company order giving instructions to 



BY GERMANS 87 

kill the wounded was sent along the ranks and repeated 
from man to man. 

This prisoner added that as soon as this order was 
passed round, ten or twelve French wounded who were 
lying here and there round about the battalion were 
dispatched with rifle shots. 

Another prisoner in the same regiment deposed that, 
on the 26th August, he saw a cavalry officer, unknown 
to him, come and give the order in question as coming from 
headquarters. Immediately afterwards rifle shots were 
heard coming from the head of the detachment in front 
of him. 

A soldier of the 112th declared that he heard, on the 
26th August, Captain Curtins, in command of the y^d 
Company, say that henceforth no more wounded were 
to be made prisoners. Shortly afterwards he heard 
rifle shots fired at the French wounded who happened 
to be lying along the roads. 

Another soldier of the 112th gave evidence that on the 
same day, between four and five o'clock, some French 
wounded who happened to be on the sides of the road 
from Thiaville to Saint Benoit, were killed hy order of 
the commander of the 1st battalion. 

About twenty German soldiers who were cross- 
examined admitted that this order had been given, but 
without giving details about the manner in which it 
had been carried out. Some prisoners, who did not 
know even in the field about the company order of the 
day, declared that they were subsequently informed of 
it by their comrades. 

Moreover, the German soldier Karl Johannes Kalte- 
nochner (gth company of the regiment of Count Biilow 
of Tervuenwist), who deserted and took refuge in 
Holland, declared in the Telegraaf of Amsterdam (Temps 



SS KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

of 3rd January, 19 15) that when Turcos were made 
prisoners the German officers did not take the trouble 
to send them to any place behind the lines, and gave 
orders to the soldiers to shoot them. He quoted Major 
Botwitz as having given orders to kill two Turco prisoners. 
It is not, then, to be wondered at that the soldier who 
made this disclosure accompanied it with the declara- 
tion " that the German soldiers have become like wild 
animals and think only of killing and pillaging." 

Finally, in the hospital at Nancy two German soldiers 
who were under treatment there made similar confes- 
sions. One of them, who had a wound in the stomach, 
confided to Dr. Rohmer that it had been caused by a 
revolver-shot from his officer, because he declined to kill a 
wounded Frenchman. The other, who was wounded 
in the back by a shot fired point-blank, declared to 
Dr. Weiss that, in obedience to the order of an officer, a 
soldier had fired on him to punish him for having carried 
several wounded Frenchmen into a village not far from 
the battlefield. 

French and Belgian Officers killed by 
THE Germans 

The number of officers killed by Germans on the 
different battlefields to which the war has extended is 
certainly greater than one would think. The following 
are two attested instances — 

On the gth August, at Ormael in Belgium, the Belgian 
Commandant Knapen, who was already wounded, was 
killed. 

On the 1 2th August, after the battle of Haelen in 
Belgium, the Germans killed, by a revolver-shot J in 
the mouth, Commandant Van Daume, who had been 
seriously wounded. 



BY GERMANS 89 

On the 22nd August, at Gommery (Belgian Luxem- 
burg) M. Charles Deschars, former commercial attache 
of France at Berlin, was killed under the following dis- 
graceful circumstances. M. Deschars, an interpreter 
lieutenant at the headquarters of General Trentinian, 
had been wounded at the battle of Elbe, in Belgian 
Luxemburg, on the 22nd August. On that day he had 
to be left at an ambulance in the village of Gommery. 
In the evening came a German troop belonging to the 
47th infantry regiment, in command of a non-com- 
missioned officer. The latter pretended that a shot had 
been fired at his platoon. He asked for an interpreter, 
and M. Ch. Deschars came down, helped by attendants. 
He went up to the German non-commissioned officer, and 
the latter, after exchanging some words with him, drew a 
revolver and blew out his brains. 

After this murder the German platoon gave itself up 
to all sorts of excesses. Dr. Vaissieres, who happened 
to be in the ambulance, was killed. Dr. Sedillot, 
surgeon-major of the ist class, was wounded. The 
majority of the wounded were killed. 

A similar crime took place during an engagement 
between French dragoons and German light cavalry. 
A French lieutenant, who afterwards told the story in 
the Matin of the 22nd August, finding he was wounded, 
called for help. A German came up and, seeing that he 
had to deal with an officer, appealed to his commandant, 
M. de Schaffenberg, of the Treves light cavalry. The 
latter went behind the French lieutenant, took his 
cavalry revolver, and at point blank shot him in the 
stomach. The French officer's orderly was spared only 
because Commandant de Schaffenberg thought he was 
dead. 



90 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

Wounded Soldiers tortured before being 
PUT TO Death 

The German crime of killing enemy wounded assumes 
a still more dreadful aspect when it is committed only 
after the victims have suffered cruel treatment. The 
tortures inflicted on the wounded argue an exceptional 
ferocity in those who are guilty of them, and yet such 
cases are not rare. 

On the i6th August, at Dinant, French soldiers were 
found with their heads smashed in by the butt-ends of 
rifles. On the 25th August, at Hofstade in Belgium, a 
soldier who had been slightly wounded was also killed 
by blows from the butt-end of a rifle. In a wood not far 
from the road to Malines, at Tervueren, eighteen Belgian 
riflemen were killed by bayonet thrusts in the head. One 
of the French wounded, who had been taken again by 
the French troops and then left at Besangon, had been 
struck on the head and sides with blows from the butt-end 
of a rifle and kicked. A German soldier had dragged 
him along the ground. Beside him another wounded 
Frenchman was dispatched with bayonet thrusts. The 
Belgian quartermaster Beaudin van de Kerchove 
(5th lancers), who had been wounded by two German 
bullets at the battle of Orsmael, on the 20th August, was 
also tortured. The French sergeant Lemerre, who had 
been wounded in the leg at Rembercourt by a bursting 
shell, was left on the ground for eight days by the 
German ambulance, who had, however, seen him. On 
the fourth day, on the order of an officer who, revolver 
in hand, was crossing the field of battle, this non-com- 
missioned officer was wounded again by a rifle shot fired 
by a soldier. 

The French Commission of Inquiry on their part quote 
three cases of torture inflicted on the wounded — 



BY GERMANS 91 

" On the evening of the 25th August," say the 
Commission in their report, the Abbe Denis, Cur6 of 
Rem^reville, tended Lieutenant Toussaint, who had 
only left the forestry school in the previous month of 
July. As he lay wounded on the field of battle, this 
young officer had been bayoneted by all the Germans 
who had passed by him. His body was one great 
wound from head to foot. 

" At the Nancy hospital we saw Private Voger of the 
infantry regiment, who was still bearing the marks of 
German barbarism. Seriously wounded in the spinal 
column, in front of the forest of Champenoux, on the 
24th August, and paralysed in both legs as a result of 
his wound, he had remained lying on his stomach, when 
a German soldier brutally turned him over with his 
rifle and struck him three times with the butt on the 
head. Others, who were passing near him, also struck 
him with the butt-ends of their rifles and kicked him. 

'* Finally, one of them with a single stroke made a 
wound below and three or four centimetres from each 
eye with the help of an instrument which the victim 
could not distinguish, but which in the opinion of 
Dr. Weiss, chief physician and professor of the faculty 
of Nancy, must have been a pair of scissors." 

These facts appear difficult of belief. Nevertheless 
a confession of similar deeds has been made by German 
soldiers ; for example, Paul Gloede, of the 9th battalion 
of Pioneers (gth corps), actually writes in his notebook: 
*' Mutilation of the wounded is the order of the day." 

Published Admission by Germans 

These acts of German troops did not always make 
Germans ashamed. On the contrary, in certain cases 
they even thought it was a clever thing to boast about 



92 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

it. For instance, a story, which had come from the 
German non-commissioned officer Klemt (154th in- 
fantry regiment, ist company), was pubhshed in a 
newspaper of Jauer in Silesia on the i8th October, 1914. 
The paper even put as a marginal note the following 
phrase " The 24th September, 19 14, a day of honour for 
our troops." In his pamphlet, German Crimes according 
to German Evidence, M. Bedier has put on record the 
non-commissioned officer's story. 

** We bludgeon and transfix the wounded," says the 
wretch, " for we know that these scoundrels, when we 
have passed by, would fire at our backs. There lies 
at full length a Frenchman, face to the ground, but he 
is shamming death. A kick from the foot of a stout 
fusilier lets him know that we are there. Turning 
round, he asks for quarter, but we say to him, ' That 

is how, you , your tools work,' and we pin him 

to the ground. Beside me, I hear strange crashing 
noises. They are blows from the butt-end of a rifle 
which a soldier of the 154th regiment is vigorously 
applying to a Frenchman's bald head : very cleverly 
he used a French rifle for his work, lest he should break 
his own. Men with exceptionally tender hearts do the 
French wounded the favour of finishing them off with 
a bullet, but others distribute as many cuts and thrusts 
as they can. Our opponents had fought bravely : they 
were picked troops whom we had in front of us : they 
let us come as close as thirty and even ten metres to 
them : too close. Knapsacks and arms thrown in a heap 
prove that they wanted to take to ffight, but at sight of 
the ' grey phantoms,' terror paralysed their limbs, and 
on the narrow path which they were taking the German 
bullet brought them the order to * halt.' At the 
entrance to their hiding-place of boughs of trees they lie, 



BY GERMANS 93 

groaning and asking for quarter. But, whether they 
were Hghtly or seriously wounded, the fusihers spare the 
fatherland the expensive attentions which would have 
to be given to a crowd of enemies." 

The non-commissioned officer adds that Prince Oscar 
of Prussia, on being informed of the exploits of the 
154th and of the regiment which with the 154th forms 
a brigade, declared they were both worthy of the name 
" King's Brigade." " When evening came," he con- 
tinued, " with a prayer of thanks upon our Hps we fell 
asleep in expectation of the following day." Then, 
having added by way of postscript a little bit of 
verse, *' Return from Battle," he brings the whole, 
prose and verse, to his lieutenant, who countersigns it, 
*' Certified to be correct, De Niem, lieutenant and 
company commander." 

German Murder of People attached to the 
Medical Service and the Red Cross 

No more than the wounded were people engaged in 
tending or transporting the wounded spared by the 
Germans. 

We have said that in bombardments no distinction 
was made between Red Cross establishments and the 
others. But even outside these cases the Geneva 
Convention was so frequently violated that we are 
driven to attach no credence to the excuses invented 
in case of bombardment. 

Enemy doctors, nurses male and female, ambulance 
workers have been often ill-treated, wounded and even 
killed by the Germans. We have noted one case, in 
reporting the murder of the French lieutenant Deschars 
who had been previously wounded. It is not the only 
one. 



94 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED 

M. Pierre Nothomb reports several in his pamphlet, 
Belgique Martyr e. We must also remember the testi- 
mony given by Dr. Barbey [Echo de Paris of the 
20th January, 1915). Speaking of the cruelties com- 
mitted by the Germans at Recquignies (Nord), this 
doctor says — 

" On the afternoon of the 6th September German 
soldiers came to the ambulance ; they were very much 
excited : two of them caught hold of me brutally and 
another presented his rifle at me. I explained to them 
that they were in a temporary hospital, where there 
were no arms, which was true, and, moreover, all arms 
had been punctiliously given up by the civilians at the 
beginning of the siege. The Boches searched every- 
where without finding anything. Then they went off, 
leading the eight attendants and stretcher-bearers, 
whom, as they pretended, they needed to bring their 
wounded to Boussois. The little company set out. 
As they were passing before my house, which was still 
uninjured, the Germans, revolver in hand, compelled 
attendant Jus to set fire to it. They did the same with 
the mayor's house, which was next door to mine. 

" On the way back from this expedition, as the eight 
attendants, who all the time had been surrounded by 
Boches, were going along the railway-line from Paris 
to Cologne, the leader of the detachment suddenly 
caused a halt : the French soldiers were lined along 
the bank : they were ordered to raise their arms and 
they obeyed. 

" ' Shoot them,' commanded the leader. A volley 
rang out. The eight men fell. Without troubling 
further about them the bandits went off at once, 

shouting, for they were drunk Fortunately, so 

drunk, in fact, that their bullets had nearly all missed. 



BY GERMANS 95 

Only four of our attendants were wounded : Private 
Hacrien ; Private Caudren, who had his leg broken ; a 
private who was a native of Perenchies, and who had 
a bullet through his thigh, and a fourth private who 
sustained a not very serious wound on the knee. When 
the Boches were gone the four attendants, who were 
unhurt and who had been shamming death, lifted up 
their comrades and brought them to the ambulance. 

" On the following day all the wounded under 
treatment in this ambulance were brought, without 
food, to Beaumont in Belgium, where a kindly major 
had them collected in a convent which had been trans- 
formed into a hospital. There I left them, as I had 
been authorised to go back alone to France. 

"I set out on foot, without a copper, on an empty 
stomach. On the way, I met with a German patrol; 
without parley, the savages belaboured me with the 
butt-ends of their rifles and left me for dead, having 
just stripped me of all I had left — namely, my 
clothes.'* 

M. Herriot, Mayor of Lyon, on his part, in a letter 
to a French minister, declares that " he knows ten 
French doctors whose ambulances had been bombarded 
and their attendants killed," and that " the Chief Rabbi 
of Lyon was killed as he was endeavouring to get the 
wounded out through the window of an ambulance which 
had been set on fire by shells." 

On the other hand, the French Commission of Inquiry 
states in its report that, on the 25th August, at Einvaux 
some Germans had opened fire at 300 metres on Dr. 
Millet, surgeon-major of the colonial regiment, just 
when, with the help of two bearers, he was dressing 
the wounds of a man who was lying on a stretcher. As 
his left side was turned to them they saw his brassard 



96 KILLING OF THE WOUNDED BY GERMANS 

perfectly. Besides, they could not have been mistaken 
about the kind of job on which the three men were 
engaged. 

'' At Xivry-Cir court," writes M. Bonne, senior cure 
of Etain, in a report which he drew up, " the Germans 
seized an ambulance and a convoy of wounded, only 
the first carriage of which succeeded in escaping, in a 
hail of bullets." 

In a report on the outrages and crimes committed by 
the Germans at Arras, M. Briens, prefect of the Depart- 
ment of Pas de Calais, remarks : *' The most painful 
feelings have been roused by the taking away of all 
the wounded under treatment at the hospitals whom 
it was possible to carry. . . . The surgeon-majors of 
the Medical Service and the Red Cross attendants 
were attached to this convoy of prisoners." 

Finally, before Luneville, a French Red Cross 
nurse, Mme. Prudennec, while on the look-out for 
wounded on the battlefields, tended a German officer 
who, to show his gratitude, gave her a sabre thrust in 
return. The nurse was injured in the leg, and for 
five days remained wounded in the hands of the Prus- 
sians. But when the time came for them to retreat 
the Germans left behind the nurse (who was unable to 
walk), and so it came to pass that she was saved by 
French soldiers. 



CHAPTER X 

ILL-TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR 

By common consent good treatment of prisoners of 
war is a law imposed on civilised nations. American 
instructions, in their article 56, do but put into words 
the feelings of civilised mankind when they say, ** A 
prisoner of war must suffer no penalty in so far as he 
is a public enemy; no suffering, no dishonour will be 
intentionally imposed upon him by way of reprisal, 
neither imprisonment, nor deprivation of food, nor 
mutilation, nor death, nor any barbarous treatment." 
Such is the line of conduct which belligerents long 
have followed in this matter; such is the idea they 
entertain of their duty in war. 

The German Idea 

In the present war, however, we have seen the 
Germans change all that : in this respect, as in so many 
others, they have shown unmitigated contempt for 
current conceptions of war. They have been seen to 
vent their hatred and desire for vengeance upon a 
prisoner. Therein is the reaction of a feeling of cruel 
pride. Have not the prisoners of war who fall into 
German hands committed the crime of offering resist- 
ance to the actions of the first people in the world? 
Consequently, M. Pierre Nothomb remarks, in his book, 
Belgique Martyre^ * ' in the hands of the German 
a prisoner is not a soldier who has been unlucky, 
but a victim who is to endure his hatred." 
H 97 



98 ILL-TREATMENT OF 

Germany took good care not to advertise this prin- 
ciple. It would have been too open a violation of the 
law of nations, and, besides, it would have exposed 
her to reprisals. Prisoners who surrendered in a body 
were spared up to a certain point. But the case was 
different with prisoners taken in little groups. To- 
wards them, because their fate was more obscure, 
and the manner in which they were treated might 
appear to involve less responsibility for the whole 
system, no ill-treatment and cruelty, from insults to 
death, were omitted. They were jeered at, and from 
mockery their tormentors went on to blows and 
wounds. 

Blows 

At Camperhout (in Belgium) the Germans amused 
themselves with imposing on the prisoners fatigue- 
duty, in the course of which the latter were struck on 
the slightest pretext. A Greek, who was a volunteer 
in the French army, has told what happened, in a 
letter to the Nea Himera at Athens. ** There were 
eight hundred prisoners of us, five of whom were Greeks. 
We were brought before German officers, who ordered 
us to undress. Then they had us tied with ropes and 
whipped by six German soldiers." 

They were undressed and stripped of what they had. 
" When I was able to get my clothes again," said the 
same witness, *' I found that a sum of 3850 francs and 
an old gold medal had disappeared." 

Cross-Examination 

At the same time that vengeance was being taken 
on the prisoners, attempts were made to extract from 
them information which would be useful for carrying 



PRISONERS OF WAR 99 

on the war. They were questioned as to what they 
had seen, as to the enemy forces and the positions 
occupied by them, and in general on all military or 
strategic questions on which they might be supposed 
to have knowledge, as an hour previously they had 
been in the trenches. Sometimes, in order to obtain 
information hke this, they were content to resort to 
a ruse ; on other occasions they went as far as threats 
followed by actions. 

Despicable German officers dared to cross-examine 
prisoners whom they had just made. Brought bound 
before the officers, the prisoners found they were 
ordered to reply under penalty of being tortured and 
killed. Near Aerschot, a Belgian soldier, who had 
been made a prisoner, understood that he was asked 
in this manner, by an officer and three soldiers, where 
were his regiment and the body of his troops. This 
soldier, who had refused to reply, was thrown to the 
ground, kicked, and finally abandoned, still tied with 
ropes. 

On the 29th March the Germans took prisoner, north 
of Mychinetz, a Russian non-commissioned officer, 
Paphyre Panasiouk, and tortured him in the presence 
of ten German officers, who tried to drag information 
from him about the positions of the Russian troops. 
Having refused to act as a traitor to the advantage 
of his enemies, the wretched non-commissioned officer 
had the lobe of his right ear cut off by a German officer, 
who then, in four strokes, cut off the top of the ear, 
leaving only a piece of cartilage round the auricular 
passage. In the meantime, another officer was muti- 
lating his nose, separating the cartilage from the bone, 
and biting him. This torture lasted for a whole hour, 
and the victim, who afterwards succeeded in giving 



100 ILL-TREATMENT OF 

his guards the sHp, was placed in hospital at Warsaw, 
where the doctors photographed his mutilated face. 

Murders 

In other places prisoners were shot. In an official 
note of the Russian Government, a German officer 
was mentioned by name as having formally given 
the order to hang all Cossacks who should be made 
prisoner. This was Major Modeiski, of the German 
cuirassiers. In confirmation of the fact, it was stated 
that in many places Cossack prisoners had been 
hanged, shot or killed by bayonet thrusts ; at Radom, 
in the middle of October, an officer and four Cossacks ; 
at Ratchki, a Cossack; at Monastijisk, four Cossacks; 
at Tapilovka, the Cossack Jidkof, who had been made 
prisoner at Souvalki, etc. 

At Chabatz, sixty Serbian soldiers, who had been 
made prisoner, were massacred, and in the Belfort 
region a large number of French prisoners were un- 
dressed by the Germans, who exposed them naked to 
French bullets, and threw others into the canal, only 
to take them out again and throw them in once more. 

At Namur, during the retreat, Parfonnery, an in- 
fantryman, was made prisoner with a group of soldiers. 
*' Their hands were tied behind their backs, they were 
bound together four by four; they were compelled 
to march all day, being struck with the fiat of the sword 
and the butt-end of the rifle, and finally were thrown 
into the cellars of the Chateau Saint-Gerard." Else- 
where another Belgian prisoner, who rebelled against 
this ill-treatment, had his neck twisted by his guards. 

At Dixmude, Lieutenant Poncin (of the 12th Belgian 
Regiment of the Line) was shot after having been bound 
round the middle by a wire tied about ten times 



PRISONERS OF WAR loi 

round his legs. On the 6tli September a Belgian 
cavalryman, who had been made prisoner, was dis- 
armed, then bound and had his bowels opened with 
bayonet thrusts. Near Sempst the Germans opened 
the bowels of two Belgian carabineers and pulled out 
their entrails; at Tamine the Germans tied a French 
officer to the trunk of a tree and harnessed horses to 
each of his legs. By forcing the horses to run, the 
wretched man was torn asunder. These latter facts 
are reported in M. Pierre Nothomb's book. At Saenski 
(in the Suvalki area) a Cossack was burnt alive on the 
first of October. Other Russian prisoners also were 
condemned to die of hunger. In other places Cossacks 
were condemned to dig their graves and were shot. 

German Admissions 

In September 1914, when the Russians were forced 
to evacuate eastern Prussia before the advancing 
Germans, they had recourse to what was an indisput- 
able right by making unusable such provisions as they 
could not carry away. In this way enormous quanti- 
ties of bread were wet with petrol by orders from head- 
quarters, so that the enemy could get no advantage 
from it. The Frankfurter Zeitung of the 8th October 
recorded this act as a crime which deserved punish- 
ment. Under the heading " A Just Punishment," 
this paper had the hardihood to tell of the vengeance 
which the Germans enacted for it. The stores were 
at Insterbourg. The Russians, wrote the Frankfurter 
Zeitung, had reckoned without General Hindenburg's 
sense of humour. When this general was informed 
of the matter, he said, *' There is no accounting for 
tastes. The Russians have their tastes. This bread 
will do to feed Russian prisoners of war until these 



102 ILL-TREATMENT OF 

provisions are exhausted." Let us not forget to notice 
the style of this article. This expression of the most 
cruel wrath, and of the keenest thirst for vengeance, 
is called '* humour." And in what journal? In one 
of the most influential and most moderate organs in 
Germany. There can be no more striking admission 
both of the acts of cruelty and of the barbaric passion 
which instigated them. 

A perusal of the confession of these abominations, 
a confession, too, made in such terms, gives a better 
idea of the character and aims of this nation. 

General Stenger, to whom we have already referred, 
the commander of the 38th Brigade, gave instructions 
for the massacre of the wounded in an order of the 
day which we reproduce verbatim, and which is so 
abominable that it is beyond criticism. 

" From to-day, there will be no more prisoners made. 
All prisoners will be massacred. Even prisoners who 
have already been arranged in convoys will be massacred. 
Behind us no enemy will be left alive. 

" Stoy, Lieutenant and Commander-in-Chief of the 
Company. 

** Neubauer, Colonel in command of the Regiment. 

*' Stenger, General in command of the Brigade." 

M. Bedier has reproduced in his book the actual 
original of this document. 

Treatment of Prisoners in Germany 

Once they had left the battlefields for the German 
fortresses, where they were to be kept under guard, 
it was inevitable that prisoners of war should be ex- 
posed to the most brutal ill-treatment, death, wounds 
and blows. A regular prison regimen following upon 



PRISONERS OF WAR 103 

possible outrages on the field of battle would, of course, 
absolutely prevent that. But all the penalties which 
the prisoners could possibly be made to suffer under 
these new circumstances were heaped upon them in 
profusion. They were not allowed to have their 
letters ; customs duties were imposed on the packages 
sent to them from their own country, and the trans- 
mission of these packages was irregular and uncertain ; 
fiuclly, some of these consignments were constantly 
and systematically looted. 

The French Government complained. In fear of 
reprisals the Germans had to alter their ways, though 
in some respects they continued as before. They 
reiised to sanction the pay of private soldiers and 
noi-commissioned officers, who had been taken 
prisoner; they fixed the pay of inferior and superior 
oficers at the ridiculous amounts of sixty and a 
hundred2marks ; they refused to serve out allowances 
oi tobacco and cruelly cut short the supply of food. 

These measures are significant. They show Ger- 
many's view of the prisoner of war. The only favour 
she allows him is not to kill him, not to beat him, not 
:o let him die outright of hunger. We speak here of 
orders^ given and measures taken by the higher com- 
mand, for which no excuse that pleads the inhumanity 
of warxould be admitted. 



■/ 

/ 

CHAPTER XI 

THE MURDER, TORTURE AND VIOLATION OF WOMEN IN 
INVADED TERRITORY 

The present and following chapters will contain the 
most abominable part of this indictment. We shall 
read the story of outrages of which women have been 
made victims by the German scoundrels. Were not 
these outrages, established as they are by certiin 
reports, and confirmed by confessions which the Ger- 
mans themselves have inadvertently made, the result 
of the unbridled instincts of an army in a state of 
delirium ? We should like to think so, but the details 
to hand with regard to the circumstances under which 
these acts were performed compel us to recognise that 
something more is involved in them. They reveal 
the presence of cruelty and thirst for innocent blood 
in the perpetrators of these murders and acts oi 
violence. 

Crimes committed against octogenarian old women 
seem to issue from a special hatred, directed against 
those who gave birth to their enemies of to-day. The 
number of acts of violation committed by these in- 
vaders proves that there is inherent in the German 
mind a peculiar contempt for all human laws, a regular 
bestiality, a cynical audacity, which, if the reins are 
given to it, borders on madness. 

In the performance of these abominable acts the 
Germans showed no trace of humanity. Their thoughts 

104 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN 105 

were incapable of going back to themselves and their 
fatherland, to the daughters, the fiancees, the wives, 
the mothers whom they themselves had left at home; 
wholesale murders, mutilations, tortures, treatment so 
frightful as to drive the victims crazy, refinements of 
cruelty by which the relatives and parents of the latter 
were made partners in their punishment, and in which, 
as we have seen, neither organisation nor method was 
wanting — such are the acts of which we are about to 
give proofs and examples. 

Murders 

In the story of the murders committed by the 
Germans, of which women have been the victims, we 
see almost always that these were surprised in the 
midst of their common daily tasks. The horror of 
the crime committed against them is enhanced. It 
is still worse when the massacred women were about 
to perform some act of charity. At Tamines, in 
Belgium, a woman was killed in the middle of the 
street as she was carrying a sick old man. At May- 
en-Multien a woman named Laforest was seriously 
wounded, in the beginning of September, by a German 
horseman to whom she and her husband had been 
obliged to give hospitality. His excuse was that they 
were too long about serving him. At Hazebrouck, 
in the middle of the month of October, a German 
soldier, who was riding a bicycle, seeing in a corner 
a poor mother seated with her child sleeping on her 
knees, transfixed the latter with his bayonet, and at 
the same time wounded the mother in the thigh, 
without any of his comrades interfering. At Audun- 
le-Roman, Mile. Trefel was struck at the very moment 
when she was giving a drink to a German soldier. 



io6 MURDER, TORTURE AND 

Examples of such acts are innumerable. The most 
striking instances were those which took place at 
Malines, Gerbeviller, Audun-le-Roman, Boortmeer- 
beck, Neuville-en-Artois, Herimenil. At Herimenil, 
Mme. Truger, twenty-three years old, was shot by order 
of an officer. At Boortemeerbeck, the maid-servant 
of Mile, van Hoorde was killed because she was 
accused of having assassinated an officer. This officer 
had committed suicide, after leaving on his table a 
letter in which he declared his intention. At Lune- 
ville a young girl of sixteen years, Mile. Weill, was 
killed in her own house by her father's side. 

In the same town a woman aged ninety-eight years 
was killed in her bed and thrown into the flames; 
at Triaucourt, Mme. Maupoix, aged seventy-five years, 
was so violently kicked that she died some days after- 
wards. Two other old women of the same place were 
shot dead. During the following night the Germans 
played the piano near the corpses. At Nomeny several 
women were forced to make a long march on foot ; an 
old woman, who was just on the verge of a hundred 
years, fell down in a state of exhaustion and died. 
At Hofstade, another old woman was found dead by 
the Belgian soldiers. She had been bayoneted several 
times as she sat down to sew. At Gerbeviller, widow 
Guillaume, aged sixty-eight years, was killed by a 
shot fired point-blank. 

Wholesale Murder 

In many cases the Germans went as far as general 
massacres. The excuse invoked by them was a 
pretended right of reprisals. 

The most appalling of these butcheries seems to 
have been that of Dinant, which took place on the 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN 107 

22nd August and following days. *' In these terrible 
days," writes a Dutchman, M. Staller, on this topic, 
in the Telegraaf (translated in the Temps, 19th Decem- 
ber, 1914), "at Dinant and also in the neighbouring 
villages of Anseremme, Leffe and Neffe, more than 
eight hundred persons were killed, amongst whom 
there were many women and children." The XX Steele 
published the names of about sixty women, several 
of whom were octogenarians, and of about forty 
hildren. The excuse put forward was that three 
German soldiers had been killed by the civiHans 
(see further on). 

" At Anseremme," continues the Telegraaf, " eighteen 
women and two children were concealed under a 
bridge; the soldiers caught sight of them and fired 
with a machine-gun until there was no more sign of 
life ; on the following morning they burnt the corpses, 
probably that they might not be accused of having 
killed defenceless people. I saw the horrible remains 
of the fire." 

Another massacre was that witnessed at Lou vain. 
On the 27th August, at 8 o'clock, the order was given 
to the inhabitants of Louvain to leave the town, as 
it was going to be bombarded. Amongst these thou- 
sands of wretched people, pursued by the brutal 
soldiers, were large numbers of women, and some, 
who had not the strength to follow the procession, 
were shot. 

Tortured Women 

A humane reader cannot repress a tremor as he 
learns the story of the tortures inflicted on women by 
the Germans on several occasions. We should have 
spared our readers these stories, were it not necessary 



io8 MURDER, TORTURE AND 

to pay special attention to them for the purpose of 
showing how far German barbarism can go. 

At Dompierre-aux-Bois, after the bombardment 
which we have described, the Germans did not want 
to allow the people shut up in a church which they 
were bombarding even to go to look for water to 
tend the wounded. Women were compelled to wait 
without help, wounded, bruised, mutilated under the 
eyes of their parents, who were powerless to help them 
during a time of agony which for some lasted up to 
twenty-four and thirty-six hours. When they were 
dead, the Germans forced the men to dig a grave near 
the cemetery and to bury them in it. One of them 
found that in this way he was forced to bury without 
a cofhn his wife, her mother and her sisters. 

At Revigny the French Commission of Inquiry notes 
the case of a woman who was found killed in a cellar, 
with her breast and right arm cut off. Her little son, 
aged eleven years, also had a foot cut off. 

M. Bonne, the senior curate of Etain, declares in his 
report that a woman of Audun-le-Roman, who was 
suckling her child, was tortured for refusing to give 
the enemy food. They mangled her abdomen and 
killed her child. 

At Sempst, in Belgium, a woman was bayoneted, 
covered with petrol, and thrown into the flames. The 
fact is noted in the second report of the Belgian Com- 
mission of Inquiry. M. Pierre Nothomb relates the 
following facts : "On coming to Averbode, on the 
2oth August, the Germans saw a woman, who — seized 
with fear — concealed herself in a ditch. They killed 
her with lance-thrusts. An hour's journey from there, 
at Schaffen, they disembowelled a young girl of twenty 
years. Peasants from the outskirts of Lou vain went 
to Antwerp, on the 12th September, and told that at 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN 109 

Wilzele the Germans wanted to burn alive Mme. 
Van Kriegelinen and her eleven children. The 
woman and eight children were burnt. We saw the 
corpses of the mother and her children, and were 
present at the execution." The volunteer gunner 

de R unpinned from the ground the bodies of a 

woman and her child, who were fastened to the ground 
by bayonets. Asked about what had passed at Boort- 

meerbeck. Dr. V of Malines deposed : " Mme. 

Van Rollegem came to the hospital of Malines on the 
22nd August. On Thursday the 20th, as she was 
fleeing from Boortmeerbeck with her husband, she 
was shot twice in the leg. She threw herself into the 
ditch to take shelter. Some minutes later the Germans 
who had fired on her came up to her again and made 
horrible wounds in her left thigh and left forearm. 
She remained like that without help until Saturday 
evening. The wounds were gangrened and worms 
were swarming over them." 

During the night of the 23rd to 24th August soldiers 
knocked violently at the door of the Chateau of Canne, 
owned by M. Poswick. Mme. Poswick opened the 
door; she was forthwith bludgeoned with the butt- 
ends of rifles. On Sunday, the 30th of August, a patrol 
of hussars, as a Lord's day recreation, amused them- 
selves by firing, on the Brussels road at Malines, at 
Catherine Van Kerchove, a woman of seventy-four 
years of age, at every part of her they could hit with- 
out killing her. A rifle shot carried off her right hand, 
another gashed her cheek. At Battice, before burning 
houses, the Germans made women go into them and 
shut them up there. 

Sometimes German barbarism spent itself in putting 
people in captivity. At Dinant many women were 
kept shut up in the Abbaye des Premontres. Here 



no MURDER, TORTURE AND 

they remained seated on the floor without food. Four 
of them were confined under these dreadful conditions 
(see Chap. XIII). 

Poland and Serbia 

Such acts were outdone at the other end of Europe, 
in the Eastern theatre of war. In Poland, at Khab- 
beck, the Austrians mutilated two women on the 
pretext that civilians were helping the movements of 
the Russian troops. 

In the Podogorsky Arrondissement the Serbian 
troops found in the village of Jabonka the corpses of 
a young girl of about ten years old and of three old 
women, all three alike mutilated. Finally, Professor 
Reiss, of the University of Lausanne, who visited the 
Serbian territories invaded by the Austro-Hungarians, 
confirmed the authenticity of the mutilations in which 
the invader of Serbia had indulged. 

" At Bastave " (he reports in his letter to the Temps 
of 22nd November) " nearly everybody took to flight 
when it was known that the Austrians were approach- 
ing. The two infirm women named Soldatovich, aged 
seventy-two and seventy-eight years, did not want to 
leave their house. They thought that even the most 
cruel men would do nothing to invalided old women. 
But when the peasants came back after the Austrians 
had gone, they found that the two poor old women 
had been violated, stabbed with bayonet thrusts, their 
noses, ears and breasts cut. Besides, mutilation was 
quite a usual practice amongst the murderers of the 
Austro-Hungarian army." 

These barbarous acts, when they did not cause the 
victim's death, sometimes brought on insanity. This 
was the case, amongst other instances, with several 
women of Louvain, who were escorted by a detach- 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN iix 

ment of the 162nd German infantry regiment to the 
riding-school of the town, and having, from want of 
room, passed a whole night standing, endured such 
terrible sufferings that they lost their reason. 

Abduction 

Let us take the case of abduction of women, led 
away by German soldiers and brought in troops to 
Germany. These wretched women were put down 
as hostages. It is, however, certain that in more than 
one case they were led away merely to gratify the 
soldiers' lust. 

At Marcheville the Germans carried off several 
hundreds of women, who were interned at Amberg in 
Bavaria in barracks. At Saint-Mihiel seven or eight 
hundred women were also carried off to Germany. 

At Charleville the women were kept on the spot, but 
brought to their several tasks and kept under a regimen 
of forced labour. They were kept constantly employed 
in making equipments for the troops, earning a wage 
of half-a-loaf of bread. At Bignicourt-sur-Saulx forty 
women were carried off, as hostages it was said. The 
Hungarian dragoons in particular, in Poland and in the 
Lublin and Kielce regions, were noted for this kind of 
conduct, revived from the most barbarous periods 
of war. 

The second report of the French Commission of 
Inquiry {Journal Offlciel of nth March, 1915) gives 
striking details of the fate of Frenchwomen who were 
carried away from their own country and interned 
in Germany. 

For the most part separated from their children, 
there was no kind of violence to which they had not 
to submit. The lack of food induced among them 
frightful maladies, which they had to endure under 



112 MURDER, TORTURE AND 

the most horrible conditions. So acute were their 
sufferings, that afterwards, when they were released, 
they were very depressed, under the idea that they 
were still in prison, and were obsessed with morbid 
fears. Several of them, including some octogenarians, 
had to be carried on stretchers. 

Violation 

The number of women outraged by Germans where 
they lived is considerable. Violation was practised 
everywhere on invaded territory as a right of war, 
and without distinction of age. We feel in touch with 
an odious perversity as we read the story of these 
outrages, in which a depraved imagination is as 
prominent as their brutality. 

On the 4th September, at Rebais, a young woman 
of twenty-nine years, a wine-seller, was accused of 
having concealed English soldiers at her house. The 
Germans undressed her, and compelled her to stay in 
that condition in their midst for an hour and a half. 
Then they fastened her to her counter, and threatened 
her with death. The wretched woman would infal- 
libly have died had not orders, which suddenly arrived, 
compelled her torturers to be off and leave her in the 
hands of an Alsatian soldier, who released her. 

The French Commission of Inquiry reports two cases 
of violation committed in each of the places it was able 
to visit, especially at Villers, Trumilly, Sermaize, etc. 
Special indignation is aroused by those of which quite 
young girls were the victims. 

At Chateau-Thierry it was a girl of only fourteen 
years of age, who was dragged into a shop by three 
Germans, where, under threat of a bayonet, she was 
violated by two of them, while the third gave way to 
the young victim's entreaties. At Begu-Saint-Germain 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN 113 

it was a girl of thirteen years. At Loupy-le-Chateau 
it was on children of thirteen and eight years that such 
outrages were committed. At Magnieres a little child 
of twelve years was violated twice by a soldier. At 
Suippy, on the 3rd September, a child of eleven years 
was for three hours the butt of the brutality of a man, 
who found her with her sick grandmother, brought 
her into a deserted house, and stuffed a handkerchief 
into her mouth to prevent her crying. 

Unbridled bestiality of this kind had no more 
respect for age than childhood. The nature of some 
of these acts seems to prove the existence in the Ger- 
man race not merely of moral, but of physical defects. 
With amazement and disgust we put on record the 
evidence for acts which in ordinary life are found only 
in the diseased or maniacs. 

At Vitry-en-Perthois a German violated an old 
woman of eighty-nine years, who died as a result. At 
Loupy-le-Chateau an unfortunate woman of seventy- 
five years was violated ; at Suippes another old woman, 
aged seventy-two years, was seized by a German 
soldier, who was putting the muzzle of his revolver 
under her chin, when the woman's brother-in-law came 
along and released her. In Serbia the corpses of 
mutilated old women, the discovery of which we noted 
above, were examined, and it was proved that these 
old women had been violated before being mutilated. 
In certain places soldiers were seen outraging dead 
bodies. This fact was established at Gerbeviller, the 
culprit being a Bavarian of the army corps commanded 
by General Clauss. 

Hateful Consequences of these Acts 

Several victims of these crimes died : others lost 
their reason. For a large number the natural con- 



114 MURDER, TORTURE AND 

sequences of these acts condemn them to become 
mothers. 

Of all the victims of invasion, none have been more 
unfortunate than these. The practice of abortion 
cannot be tolerated. They are condemned to bring 
into the world the hateful fruit of savage bestiality. 
It should at least be admitted that they should be 
absolved from the duty of feeding and loving this 
offspring. A law to this effect will doubtless be passed 
in France. Permission will be given to declare that 
the children are the issue of unknown parents. The 
Committee for Public Assistance will assume respon- 
sibility and thus spare private families the morally 
intolerable burden of bringing up the children of 
Germans. 

Resistance punished with Death 

A number of women who resisted the violence of 
the soldiers were killed either by rifle shots or bayonet 
thrusts. At Esternay, on the night of Sunday, 6th 
September, the soldiers violated widow Bouche, her 
two daughters, and two women called Lhomme and 
Mace. When the mother resisted they fired on the 
whole group. Mme. Lhomme was struck, and Marcelle 
Bouche, who was seriously wounded, succumbed the 
following morning as a result of her wound. At 
Rebais, a lady of thirty-four years, who resisted the 
soldiers, was seized and strung up, but she was able 
to cut the rope with a knife which she found in her 
pocket. Then they beat her unmercifully, until an 
officer came up and released her. 

In Belgium, at Aerschot, a young Belgian woman 
had to pay with her life for the intervention of her 
fiance, whom the soldiers also massacred. More deplor- 
able still is the case of a young girl of Louvain, whose 



VIOLATION OF WOMEN 115 

body was pierced all over with bayonet thrusts, and 
who was then violated. Next day she was brought 
to hospital, but she succumbed to the wounds inflicted 
upon her. 

Refinement of Depravity 

In order to increase the horror of these scenes, the 
Germans were pleased to commit their crimes even in 
the presence of the parents of these wretched girls. 
It was not enough for them to shame their victim, 
they must do it under the eyes of those whose duty 
it was to defend her, and whom they first made 
powerless. Pierre Nothomb's book contains numer- 
ous examples. We tremble with indignation as we 
read the story. 

In France, at Coulommiers, a woman was violated 
on the 6th September before her husband and children. 
At Saint Denis-les-Rebais another was violated in the 
presence of her mother-in-law, who, being powerless 
to intervene, tried to prevent her little grandson, aged 
eight, from seeing this disgraceful sight. At Commigis 
(Aisne) a lady was made the object of violent and 
shameless acts by two Germans, also in her mother- 
in-law's presence. At Raucourt (Meurthe-et-Moselle) 
the Germans violated a woman in the presence of her 
children. 

German Admissions 

On the question of the murder of women, young and 
old, M. Bedier's book contains the admissions of the 
Germans themselves. Those of Blamont are told by 
the German soldier, Paul Spielmann (of the First 
Guards Infantry Brigade). *' It was horrible : blood 
was plastered over all the houses, and as for the faces 
of the dead, they were hideous. 



ii6 MURDER AND TORTURE 

" Among them were many old women and one preg- 
nant woman." The excuse alleged was ** there was 
telephonic communication with the enemy." The 
existence of this telephone was the cause of this fearful 
massacre. 

The outrages at Langeviller and another locality 
are put on record in an unsigned notebook of a soldier 
of the nth Battalion of Pioneers. ** Langeviller, 
22nd August, a village demolished by the nth Bat- 
talion of Pioneers. Three women hanged on trees : the 
first dead whom I had seen." Why were these women 
hanged ? We are not told. Eight days afterwards, he 
continues, " We destroyed eight houses. In a single 
one of them two men and their wives and a young 
girl of eighteen had been bayoneted. I was almost 
moved at the sight of the little one, her look was so 
full of innocence. But an excited body of men could 
no longer be kept in check, for at such moments we 
are no longer men, but beasts." Here, we see, full 
confession is made. Another notes that at Orchies 
''a woman had a military execution." Why? For 
not having obeyed the command to " halt." 

Something even of the acts of violence runs through 
these confessions. A soldier of the 12th infantry reserve, 
3rd corps, writes, " I am forced to note one fact which 
cannot be due to accident, but there are, even in our 
army, some . . . who are no longer men, some . . . 
to whom nothing is sacred. Last night a man of the 
Landwehr, more than thirty-five years old, wanted 
to violate the daughter of the house on which he 
quartered himself, a mere little girl, and when her 
father intervened he pointed his bayonet against the 
man's chest." 



CHAPTER XII 

OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN, OLD PEOPLE AND 
PRIESTS 

The plea of reprisals is no more valid in the case of 
children, old people and priests than it is in the case 
of women. All these classes of people have a right to 
consideration and to absolute respect from the invader. 
Every crime committed against them can bear no other 
name than wanton cruelty. 

In the foregoing pages we have seen how children 
were killed with their mothers, and old women were 
outraged and killed. We must now unfold the chapter 
of crimes against the weak and against those whose 
character should have saved them from the violences 
of war. Ill-treatment, imprisonment, wounds, murder, 
torture — all these we hardly like to think that children, 
the personification of weakness and innocence, have 
had to suffer. Such has been the cruelty of the Ger- 
man troops in the field, that what has moved all 
men's interest and compassion has, in several cases, 
only urged them on the more readily to violence. 

Belgian and French Children ill-treated, 

WOUNDED and KILLED 

We have already told the story of the ill-treatment 
to which six to eight thousand people, who were packed 
together standing in the riding-school and had to pass 
the night there, were exposed at Louvain. A number 
of children were included in these. Several endured 

117 



ii8 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

great hardships, and the youngest died in their mothers' 
arms. At Dinant, in the slaughter which took place, 
several children were massacred. 

In other cases we see that children were exposed to 
exceptional acts of violence. " On the way back from 
Tirlemont," writes the special correspondent of the 
Times (29th August, 1914), '* I met a little girl of eleven 
years old, who was stumbling and groping before her 
as if blind. A stroke of a lance had laid open her 
cheek and her eye. A poor peasant woman, her face 
wet with tears, told me that her husband had been 
killed in her presence by German horsemen, that two 
of her children, who were under nine years of age, had 
been trampled by their horses and that two others 
were missing. And this " (concluded the English 
journalist) " is not an isolated case ; it is an example 
of what happens day by day in the areas occupied by 
the German soldiers, and, I regret to say, it is only an 
example among hundreds which have been attested 
beyond any possibility of doubt." 

Instances abound, and the following are a selection. 
At Louguyon, out of 153 people who were shot on the 
23rd, 24th and 25th August by soldiers of the 102nd 
and 1 12th Prussian regiments, there were twelve 
children. 

At Bantheville (Meuse), young Felix Miquel, aged 
about fifteen years, who had hidden behind a heap 
of wood so that he might not be arrested, got a violent 
sabre thrust from the soldier who discovered him, 
which split his lips; afterwards, as he was being led 
away, when he tried to hide in a wood, he stumbled 
against a sentinel, who with a bayonet stroke cut off 
a joint of his left hand. 

At Mouchy Humieres (Oise) a little four-year-old 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 119 

girl, who belonged to a family living in Verdun, was 
wounded on the 31st August by a German soldier. 
On the way from Bouligny to Mouriere (Meuse) a 
child of fifteen years was shot in the groin as she 
was passing quietly by a wood in which a German 
patrol was concealed. 

At Spontin, near Dinant, fearful reprisals were 
carried out because a poacher had killed a Prussian 
officer, and children of all ages were shot or butchered 
with their mothers. 

In the outskirts of Malines many corpses of children 
were found on the spot where the Germans had left 
them unburied. At Morfontaine, near Longwy, two 
children of fifteen were shot for having warned the 
French gendarmes of the arrival of the enemy. At 
Gerbeviller a young girl named Parmentier, who was 
barely seven years old, was also shot. At Dinant, 
too, several children met with the same fate. At 
Aerschot the burgomaster's two children were shot; 
the murder of the little girls Luychx and Ooyen, aged 
twelve and nine years, both of whom were shot, 
was also confirmed. Pierre Nothomb quotes the case 
of two little children two years old, named Neef and 
Deckers, who were massacred at Testelt. Sometimes 
the despicable torturers added obscenity to cruelty. 
At Bertrex a grown-up brother and sister were killed 
and, when the penalty was paid, their bodies were 
put naked, clasping each other as if they had been 
embracing. 

Children tortured by Germans 

At Hofstade, said Pierre Nothomb, a lad of less 
than fifteen years was found with hands crossed behind 
his back and his body pierced with bayonet thrusts. 



120 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

At Pin, near Izel, two young boys saw the Uhlans 
coming; the latter took them as they passed, and 
made them run, with hands bound, between their 
galloping horses. Their dead bodies were found an 
hour afterwards in a ditch; as an eye-witness said, 
their knees were ** literally worn out "; one had his 
throat cut and his breast laid open ; each had a bullet 
in his head. At Schaffen a lad was bound to a shutter, 
sprinkled with petrol, and burnt alive. The soldiers 
who marched on Antwerp took a butcher's cleaver 
at Sempst; they seized a little servant boy, cut off 
his legs, then his head, and roasted him in a burning 
house. At Lebbeke-les-Termonde, Frans Mertens and 
his comrades. Van Dooren, Dekinder, Stobbelaer and 
Wryer, were bound arm to arm; their eyes were 
gouged out with a pointed weapon, then they were 
killed by rifle shots. 

In France, at Dompierre-aux-Bois, the children who 
were wounded in the bombardment of the church 
found themselves left to their agony, without attend- 
ance and without food. The dead bodies of two 
children who had been killed by bayonet thrusts 
were found at Neuville-en-Artois. At Vingras a little 
girl of eight years was thrust into the flames with her 
parents, whose farmhouse had been set on fire. At 
Sommeilles the dead body of a child of eleven was 
found with its foot cut off. At Triaucourt the wretches 
burnt a two-year-old child. 

In Serbia similar outrages were committed. M. 
Reiss, Professor of Lausanne University, has proved 
that children of two months old were massacred. 
** I found children in common ditches who were not 
more than two or three years old. Amongst the 109 
hostages of Lechnitza who were shot in front of a ditch 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 121 

which had previously been dug out, and which was 
not less than twenty metres long, there were some 
children of not more than eight years old." 

German Admissions 

We read above the admission of a soldier of the 
Prussian Guard, Paul Spielmann, about the massacre 
of a village which *' had been in telephonic com- 
munication with the enemy." Among those who 
were massacred he adds that there were three children. 
" I saw this morning (2nd September) four little boys 
carrying on two sticks a cradle in which was a child 
of five to six months old. All that is fearful to behold. 
Blow for blow. Cannon for cannon. Everything was 
given up to pillage. 

". . . I saw also a mother with her two little ones ; 
one had a great wound on the head and the other had its 
eye gouged out." 

The German soldier, Karl Johann Kaltendshner, 
Ninth Company of the Regiment of Count Biilow 
Tervuenwist, who deserted and fled to Holland, and 
whose statements in the Telegraaf we have already 
quoted, tells the following story : "I have seen 
children in tears, clinging to their defenceless mothers' 
skirts, coming out of a threshing-mill where they had 
sought shelter, and / have seen how these mothers and 
their children were killed in cowardly and cold-blooded 
fashion. Although we were compelled, under penalty 
of death, to obey all the orders of our officers, / have 
seen some of my companions who joyfully performed 
their melancholy work of massacre. At a certain 
moment I was myself required to shoot two boys, aged 
fifteen and twelve years old respectively, whose father 
had already been killed. I had not the heart to do 



122 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

it, and I had lowered my arm, expecting to be executed 
myself, when one of my comrades, jeering at my 
sentimentality, saved me by pushing me aside and 
himself firing on the two children. The eldest fell 
stark dead, and the second, who got a bullet in the back, 
was dispatched with a revolver shot " {Temps, 3rd 
January, 1915). 

Outrages on Old People 

At every place where the civil population was 
brutally treated, outraged or shot en masse — at Louvain, 
at Dinant — no exception was made in the case of old 
folk. People of seventy and eighty years of age had 
to bear forced marches, to remain standing in packed 
masses, where they were kept for whole nights, at the 
risk of death, as was the result for a large number. 
But, in addition to these common instances, outrages 
of a peculiar kind are not wanting. At Rebais-en-Brie 
an old man of sixty-nine years old, Auguste Griff aut, 
was struck with blows of the fist on the head, and 
finally wounded by a revolver shot. At Sablonnieres 
another old man of the same name, Jules Griff aut, 
aged sixty-six, was tending his cows in an enclosed 
field when a German soldier, who was at the rear of 
a column, fired on him. In Belgium an old man of 
seventy years, formerly steward to M. Davignon, 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium, 
was shot by the Germans because to the first question 
that the latter put to him he replied that he was 
deaf, which was true. 

Another was shot without mercy at Montmirail 
because he tried to protect a widow, named Naude, 
who was in danger of being outraged by a non- 
commissioned officer. 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 123 

At Lamath, in Lorraine, an old man called Louis, 
aged seventy years, was shot. At Domevre-sur- 
Vezouze Adolphe Claude, aged seventy-five years, 
met with the same fate. At Luneville an old alder- 
man, Theophile Martin, aged sixty-three years, was 
commanded by an officer to come out of his house 
with his two daughters. As soon as they came out 
the old man saw from the revolvers and guns that 
were levelled at him that he was about to be killed. 
The young girls threw themselves on their knees and 
begged the Germans to spare their father's life. It 
was in vain. Shots rang out and the old man 
fell. Again at Luneville, M. fidouard Bernard, 
municipal councillor, aged sixty-five years, who had 
six sons at the front, was arrested. He was hardly 
allowed time to dress himself. He was taken away, 
and it is not known what became of him. M. Charles 
Cherer, husbandman, aged sixty-four, first cousin to 
M. Lebrun, ex-minister, got four bullets in his body. 
As none of the wounds which they made was 
mortal, the Uhlans dispatched him with revolver 
shots. 

At Nomeny M. Petit jean, aged eighty-six years, 
was struck as he was sitting in his armchair by a 
bullet which cracked his skull, and a German took 
pleasure in doing violence to the dead body (vide p. 148). 

Finally, the number of old people who were taken 
away as hostages or simply deported to Germany was 
very large. Of that we shall speak in a subsequent 
chapter, but let us only note here that among the 
hostages who were taken away to Vareddes four old 
men were shot or bludgeoned with the butt-ends of 
rifles, their names being Jourdaine (73 years old), 
Lievin (61), Menil (65) and Milhardet (y8 years). 



124 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

Torture of Old People 

On the 26th August, not far from Malines, the dead 
body of an old man was found bound by the arms to 
a beam in the ceiHng of his farmhouse. The body 
was completely burnt, except the head, arms and feet. 

At Triaucourt, in France, an old man of seventy, 
Jean Lecouturier, was thrown into the flames of a 
burning house. 

At Champuis, Jacquemin was bound to his bed 
by a non-commissioned officer, and left in this state 
without food for three days. He di^d some days 
afterwards. At Lavigneville (Meuse), on the 23rd 
September, MM. Woimbee, aged sixty-one years, and 
Fortin, aged sixty-five years, both farmers, were 
arrested in their own homes on the plea that they 
were francs-tireurs. Now, Woimbee had had his foot 
shattered two months before, and Fortin, who was 
afflicted with chronic rheumatism, had for long been 
unable to walk without the help of a stick. The 
Germans carried them off in their working garb, 
without allowing them to take any other clothes, 
and attached them to a convoy which contained 
about thirty soldiers who had been taken prisoner. 
Fortin, who could not get on, was bound by a rope, 
the ends of which were held by two horsemen, and, 
notwithstanding his infirmity, he had to keep up 
with the horses. As he fell every minute, he was 
struck with lances to compel him to get up again. 
The wretched man, covered with blood, besought them 
in mercy to kill him. At last Woimbee obtained per- 
mission to carry him to the village of Saint-Maurice- 
sous-les-Cotes, with the help of several of our soldiers. 
There the Germans made the two old men go into a 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 125 

house, compelled them to remain standing for two 
hours face to the wall and arms crossed, whilst they 
themselves rattled their arms noisily so as to make 
their victims believe they were going to shoot them. 
At last they decided to let them lie on the ground, 
and gave them a little bread and water. For more 
than twenty-four hours Woimbee and Fortin had had 
no food. 

In Poland, at Andrief, the Germans, displeased be- 
cause they had only got a little money from the alder- 
man of the town, closed up the latter, M. Krassinsky, 
aged seventy years, in his house and set fire to it. 

Outrages on Priests 

The crimes committed in Belgium and France 
against the priests deserve separate treatment. 

The German newspapers and the Emperor alleged, 
in justification of these acts, that at the beginning 
of hostilities the cures and nuns of the invaded 
regions had abused their spiritual authority over the 
civil population by rousing them to frenzy and in- 
citing them to act as francs-tireurs. But of such 
acts Germany has brought forward no proof. On 
the contrary, the German Catholic bureau Pax and 
the Kolnische Volkszeitung took the trouble person- 
ally to refute a great number of accusations against 
the clergy, amongst others the famous legend of eyes 
being gouged out, of which we spoke above and with 
which German newspapers had connected the names 
of several priests who had been carried away to 
Germany. 

As for the general plea that they had encouraged 
the civil population to resist, far from justifying the 
German conduct, it only makes it more odious, for 



126 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

what finer praise could be given to a priest in time 
of war than to say that he tried to stimulate the love 
of country among the faithful, especially when it is 
traitorously attacked by people who violate their 
pledged word? 

Besides, the very accounts of the outrages in ques- 
tion show that the plea of reprisals has no validity. 
In these stories the immorality and blasphemy of the 
torturers reveals itself without any disguise. The 
worst criminal feels a kind of fear and remorse as he 
stands in the presence of God's representative. This 
fear is unknown to the German soldier. The German 
invaders have even shown that they are devoid of 
respect for the sacred or charitable occupations in 
the midst of which they almost everywhere found the 
priests whom they have been known to massacre. 
With them everything has given way to the deliberate 
desire to sow terror among the civil population. In 
many places it is certain that this end could not be 
better attained than by ill-treating and massacring 
their spiritual heads. 

Ill-Treatment 

M. Auguste Melot, deputy of Namur, published a 
book, Martyre du Clerge Beige, which throws light 
upon this conduct so far as Belgium is concerned. 

The cures of Wygmael and Wesemael were forced 
to march, on the 29th August, before the army with 
their elbows bound together. A cure of Rotselaer 
and a cure of Wackerzeel, aged seventy years, were 
shut up for whole days in a church, almost without 
food and under dreadful conditions. They were 
finally brought away to Germany, where insults were 
heaped upon them. A German officer at Aix-la- 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 127 

Chapelle spat in the face of the cure of Rotselaer. 
Tainted bread was given them to eat. At last they 
were brought back to Belgium, by forced marches, 
from Brussels to Haeren, from Haeren to Vilvorde, 
from Vilvorde to Malines. 

The Germans indulged in outrages of a disgraceful 
kind on the cure of Beyghem. The cure and the 
curate of Ellwyt were shut up for five days in their 
church. The cure of Schaffen-lez-Diest was hanged. 
They made him believe that he was going to be put 
to death, and when he was on the point of dying they 
loosed the rope; then they started again. After- 
wards they compelled him to look at the sun, and if 
he lowered his eyes he was struck with the butt-ends 
of rifles and threatened with being hung up again. 
The cure of Yvoir was compelled to march in front of 
the troops as far as Marienburg, laden with a sack. 
At Pin the Germans made five priests walk for ten 
leagues, allowing them for food nothing but a little 
bread and water. The Superior of the French College 
of Florennes (in Belgium) was beaten, struck with 
butt-ends of rifles and with spurs on the back and 
the head. He was then stripped of his robes and 
left dying. The curate of Montigny-sur-Sambre was 
struck with the fist, and obliged to walk under the 
horsewhip, with hands bound, in front of the troops. 
The Bishop of Tournai, who was seventy-two years 
of age, was brought on foot, being beaten as he went, 
from Tournai to Ach. 

Murder of Priests 

According to inquiries made in four dioceses out 
of six, Mahnes, Liege, Namur and Tournai, it has 
been possible to fix the names of forty-four priests 



128 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

whom the Germans killed and of a dozen who are 
missing. These names are found in M. Melot's book. 
These crimes took place when a priest took it upon 
him to resist some massacre or some other kind of 
crime ordered by the Germans. Thus M. Wonters, 
cure of Pont-Brule, was shot because he wanted to 
prevent a German soldier from ill-treating an old 
prisoner. Another was killed because he tried to 
prevent an act of violation which was about to be 
committed under his eyes. On other occasions the 
crime took place without motive, or at least the 
motive alleged was trivial. For example, the cure 
of Blegny was shot for having, so it was said, allowed 
an observation post to be placed in the belfry of his 
church. However, it is certain that he could not 
have prevented it. 

Torture of Priests 

Some priests died as a result of the agonies inflicted 
upon them. The executioners were not content with 
killing them outright; they wanted to make them 
suffer as well. 

M. de Clerck, the cure of Buecken, who was accused 
of having fired on the Germans, was first placed on 
a cannon. When his tormentors had their fill of 
watching his terror, they threw him into a ditch. 
Then the soldiers took him, some by the arm, others 
by a leg, and dragged him over the pavement. Only 
then did they shoot him. However, it was certain 
that he had not fired on any one. He suffered from 
diabetes, and was confined to his bed when the Ger- 
mans entered into the village, and they could not 
have been unaware of the fact, for it was from his bed 
that they went to take him. 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 129 

M. Dergent, cure of Gelrode, found he was accused 
of spying for the EngUsh. Without any explanation 
he was brought to the town hall, ill-treated, brought 
in front of the church, struck with the butt-ends of 
rifles, then shot. 

M. Glouden, cure of La Tour, and two other priests 
who, by permission of the German commandant, 
were taking up the wounded on the Ethe territory 
had a machine-gun turned upon them, and were then 
dispatched with revolver shots, by order of the same 
commandant. 

The cure of Spontin was taken in his bed, dragged 
half-naked out of his house, and hung up several 
times, sometimes by the feet, sometimes by the hands. 
Afterwards he was stabbed with bayonets and then shot. 

There is no better picture of the hatred of the 
Germans towards members of the Belgian clergy than 
the proclamation about hostages which was posted 
up on the 6th September at Grivegnee, especially 
when we know the fate which was almost always 
reserved for them. The proclamation said : "In the 
front rank were placed as hostages priests, burgomasters 
and other public officials." 

The Arrest of Cardinal Mercier 

The abominable behaviour of the Germans to the 
Belgian Catholic clergy was crowned by the arrest of 
Cardinal Mercier, Archbishop of Malines. The follow- 
ing is the account of the circumstances under which 
he was arrested, given by the reverend prelate in a 
letter of the loth January, sent secretly to all the 
parishes in the diocese of Malines. 

** You are, doubtless, aware of a communication 

K 



130 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

made by the German Government to the Brussels 
daily papers, to the effect that the cardinal arch- 
bishop of Malines had in no wise been hampered in 
the exercise of his episcopal duties. The facts show 
how far this communication is from the truth. 

" On the evening of the ist January and on the 
following morning soldiers forced their way into the 
apartments of the cures, seized my pastoral letter 
and entered an injunction against it. They forbade 
the cures to read it to their flocks, threatening, in 
case of disobedience, the severest penalties to their 
parishes and to themselves. 

*' On the 2nd January, at 6 a.m., I received the 
order to appear during the morning before the 
Government, to give explanations with regard to my 
letter to the priests and their parishioners. 

*' On the following day I was forbidden to take 
part in the religious service , at the Cathedral of 
Antwerp. 

** Finally, I was not permitted to travel freely to 
visit the other bishops of Belgium. 

** Thus your rights and mine have been violated. 

" As a Belgian citizen, as pastor, and as a member 
of the Sacred College of Cardinals I protest energeti- 
cally against the violation of these rights. 

** Whatever interpretation others may have put 
upon my pastoral letter, experience has proved that 
it caused no risk of rebellion. On the contrary, it 
had the effect of calming and soothing people's minds. 
I congratulate you on having done your duty." 

Using Cardinal Mercier's pastoral letter as a pre- 
text, the Germans proceeded to fresh acts of violence 
against the Catholic clergy. We need not, however, 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 131 

be astonished that this letter enunciated a certain 
principle — to wit, that the Belgians owed allegiance 
only to the King and to the Government of the nation 
of which they form a part. The Cardinal went on 
to instruct his people that none the less they should 
accept the actual situation in the occupied districts, 
and leave to the regular army the task of national 
defence. These declarations, which are in absolute 
harmony not only with the teachings of religion and 
the principles of the law of nations, but also with the 
laws of war, gave the Germans a pretext for ill-treating 
several members of the clergy, desecrating a certain 
number of churches, tearing the priests from their 
confessionals, and looting sacristies. 

Outrages on the French Clergy 

The town of Roye was occupied by the Germans 
on the 7th September. On the morning of the 9th 
a burial was taking place. At the very time when 
the service was being held in the church, a French 
machine-gun came into the town and forthwith 
began to fire at a German outpost which had taken 
up a position in the town hall. The Germans rushed 
madly into the church, to the number of about fifty, 
and, to the great indignation of those who were 
present, seized the two officiating priests and the two 
choristers. Still clad in their sacred vestments, the 
priests were led into the line of fire of the French 
machine-guns, and it was only by a miracle that they 
escaped the bullets. In the sequel, the machine-gun 
could not keep up its fire and had to leave the town. 

During this time the crowd had escaped from the 
church by the sacristy and the adjoining gardens, and 
the coffin remained alone without celebrants or con- 



132 OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN 

gregation. The Germans did not release their victims. 
They compelled the two priests and the two choristers 
to get into a motor, forcing them to remain standing, 
and brought them like that to Chauny, where the 
German general staff was installed. Their intention 
was doubtless to intimidate the villages through 
which this wretched party passed. 

At Chauny the two priests and the two choristers 
remained for more than twenty-four hours without 
food or drink, and were kept prisoners for three days. 
Their release was only brought about through the 
intervention of the professor of German at the college 
of Chauny, who by dint of parleying and negotiation 
had them set at liberty; they returned to Roye, 
where they were believed to be dead. 

In the diocese of Cambrai six priests were first of 
all killed by the Germans. The assassination of the 
Abbe Delebecque, of Valenciennes, which followed, 
must be described in detail. 

On the i6th September this priest was coming back 
from a service which had taken place at Dunkirk for 
the repose of the soul of his father, who had died in 
the month of August. He was riding a bicycle and 
was carrying some letters written by soldiers. He 
was stopped by a patrol and accused of espionage. 
He was sentenced the same day at midnight. In 
spite of his denials and of the obvious proofs which 
he gave of his good faith, the council of war, consist- 
ing of officers, condemned him to death. Handed 
over to the charge of the German military chaplain, 
he passed the night in prayer before the Holy Sacrament 
in St. Nicholas Church. Then, having given confession 
and received the sacrament, he set out bravely at 5.30 
on foot to the Dampierre Column, on the way to 
Denain. 



OLD PEOPLE AND PRIESTS 133 

As he went he was repeating the prayer for the 
dying. When he reached the spot fixed by the 
Germans he sent a letter to his mother, then knelt 
down and said to some people present that he gave 
his life for France. At six o'clock the Abbe Delebecque 
fell, hit by twelve German bullets. 

A hole fifty centimetres deep was made and he was 
thrown into it. As the end of his cassock protruded, 
a civilian came and placed some stones upon it in the 
form of a cross, and some women threw flowers on 
the tomb of this martyr. Finally, the Superior of 
Notre Dame College, who had the German military 
chaplain lodging with him, with some difficulty got 
his consent to the body being given back to him, that 
suitable burial might be given to it. < 

On the other hand, the Cure Fossin, of Vareddes, 
was shot on the charge of having signalled to a French 
troop from the top of his belfry. 

In the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle two cures 
were also shot, M. Thiriet at Deuxville and M. Barbot 
at Rehainviller. 

But the most horrible outrage inflicted upon people 
dedicated to God was that suffered by two nuns in a 
commune of the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. 
They were handed over defenceless to a soldier's 
lechery. *' The pledges which we have given," writes 
the French Commission of Inquiry, which denounces 
this crime in its report, " prevent our making known 
the names of the victims of this disgusting exhibition, 
or of the village in which it took place, but the facts 
have been revealed to us under oath and in confidence 
by most trustworthy witnesses, and we take the 
responsibility of attesting their authenticity." 



CHAPTER XIII 

OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS AND FRANCS-TIREURS 

The German Theory of Francs-tireurs 

The behaviour of the Germans to civihans gives 
us the opportunity of considering, before we proceed 
further, a theory which they promulgated at the 
outbreak of war, and which referred to the distinction 
that would be made as regards non-combatants who 
took up arms against invasion. 

In the early days of the war the German Govern- 
ment, through the agency of a neutral power, com- 
municated the following two documents to France 
and Belgium. In order to show that the principle is 
both technically wrong and inhuman, we propose to 
reproduce them in full. The first of these documents 
is as follows — 

"TO THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT 

" The reports of German troops show that in 
contempt of the law of nations, a national war has 
been organised in France. In many cases the 
inhabitants of the country, under the protection 
of civilian garb, fired surreptitiously on German 
soldiers. Germany is opposed to this method of 
making war, which is a violation of the law of 
nations. The German troops have been instructed 
to stamp out this kind of resistance by the most 
rigorous measures. Every non-combatant inhabi- 
tant who carries arms, impedes communications, 
134 



OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 135 

cuts telegraph wires, uses explosive appliances — 
in short, any one who takes any illegitimate part 
in the war, will at once he brought before our courts- 
martial and shot. If by this means the war be- 
comes violent Germany declines all responsibility 
for it, and France alone will be responsible for the 
floods of blood that will be shed." 

The second document is in the following terms — 

*'T0 THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT 

" His Majesty's Government of Belgium have 
rejected Germany's sincere offer to spare them the 
horrors of war. Belgium has willed war and has 
replied to our proposal by armed opposition. 

" Notwithstanding the note of the 8th August, by 
which the Belgian Government intimated that, in 
accordance with the laws of war, they would wage 
it only with soldiers, many civilians took part in 
the battles at Liege, under the protection of civilian 
garb. They not merely fired on the German troops, 
but they cruelly killed the wounded and the doctors 
who were doing their duty. 

"At Antwerp also civilians barbarously looted 
the property of Germans, and brutally massacred 
women and children. Germany asks the whole 
civilised world to take note of the blood of these 
unoffending people and of the Belgian method 
of waging war which shows the low grade of their 
civilisation. If henceforth the war becomes cruel 
the fault lies with Belgium. In order to protect 
the German troops against the unbridled passions 
of the people, it is decreed that henceforth every 
man who takes part in the conflict without being in 
uniform and wearing the recognised distinguishing 
marks, who impedes the communications of our 
troops, cuts telegraph wires, uses explosive appli- 
ances — in short, who takes any illegitimate part 
whatsoever in the war, will be treated as a franc- 
tireur, brought before a court-martial, and shot." 



136 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

The German Military Authorities and 
Non-combatants 

German generals and officers have quibbled about 
inhumanity in their proclamations. The Burgo- 
master of Hasselt could communicate to his fellow 
townsmen on the 17th August the decision of the 
German military authorities, by which, ** in case 
civilians fired on the soldiers of the German army, a 
third of the male population would be shot." The 
German Generalissimo Biilow announced, in a pro- 
clamation addressed to the communal authorities of 
Liege (22nd August), that " the inhabitants of the 
town of Andenne, after a declaration of their peaceful 
intentions, treacherously made a surprise attack, and 
that on this ground, with his consent, the general in 
command caused everything in the whole of the district 
to he burnt, and that a hundred persons were shot." He 
adds that the people of Liege ought to try to imagine 
the fate with which they are threatened, if they adopt a 
similar attitude." The commandant at Namur, who 
had taken many hostages, declared that " the life of 
these hostages is at stake unless the civilians remain 
quiet under all circumstances." He demanded that " all 
civilians walking about in his district " should show 
their respect to German officers by taking off their 
hats, or by raising their hands to their head as in a 
military salute. In case of doubt, he adds, every 
German soldier must be saluted. Whoever declines to 
do so must expect German soldiers to make themselves 
respected by every means. 

Francs-tireurs 

These proclamations are a denial, pure and simple, 
of the right of civilians to resist an invader. This 
right, however, is recognised by the Hague Convention. 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 137 

In fact, these conventions declare that irregular 
corps raised to meet an invader are permissible, and 
that the soldiers who compose them must be treated 
according to the laws of war, provided that they take 
care — 

(i) " to have at the head of them a person 
who is responsible for his subordinates; 

(2) ** to have a distinguishing mark, which is 
fixed and recognisable at a distance ; 

(3) ** to carry arms openly; 

(4) ** and to conform in their operations to the 
laws and customs of war." 

In conclusion the conventions go further, and add — 
" The civilians of an unoccupied territory 
which on the approach of the enemy spontane- 
ously take up arms to combat the invading troops 
without having had time to organise themselves 
in conformity with the terms of Article I will be 
considered as belligerent if they respect the laws 
and customs of war." 

To this rule of international law Germany had sub- 
scribed, both in 1899 and 1907, without any reservation. 

Germany, therefore, is acting in violation of con- 
ventions which she herself has signed, by treating as 
rebels the inhabitants of invaded territories who 
attack her before "she has actually occupied the area 
in which these inhabitants live; she lies when she 
declares that this method of making war is " contrary 
to the law of nations," and she acts like a barbarous 
tyrant when she announces that every civilian who 
takes part in the war " will be brought before a court- 
martial and shot." 

It is superfluous to observe how much more insolent 
still are the notices issued by the German military 



138 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

authorities, in which the latter ignore not merely the 
civil population's right of armed resistance, but also the 
declaration of the German Government, which affirmed 
that only the non-combatant who participated in the 
war would be brought before a court-martial and shot. 

The right (which, by the way, is in this case non- 
existent) of inflicting reprisals on individuals, the 
right to which the German Government has appealed, 
has been shamefully transformed by the German 
military authorities into a right which consists of 
ill-treating the whole population of a locality in case 
a civilian may have fired on a German soldier, and 
of offering this as a justification for the ruin of the 
locality and the execution of the hostages. 

As for the threat uttered by the German com- 
mandant, which declared that whoever did not show 
respect to German officers and did not give them the 
military salute must expect that German soldiers 
*' would use every means to make themselves respected," 
we think it shows the lengths to which German frenzy 
can go. In itself we may say that it tells us more 
than all the acts of cruelty. These demands for 
servile obeisance, uttered under threat of violence 
and death, have in all times and in all history been 
the mark of the basest tyrants. Such is the reign of 
terror which Germany proposed to inflict upon 
invaded territories by covering it up in fictitious 
principles which were at variance with all recognised 
conventions, and which were the expression of nothing 
but her own caprice. 

The Attitude of the Belgian Government 
The declaration made by the Belgian Government 
the 5th August, 1914, and referred to in the 
communication of the German Government, repro- 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 139 

duced above, included the assurance that Belgium 
would conform during the war to the laws and usages 
of war laid down by the Hague Conferences. Belgium, 
therefore, was perfectly within her rights in allowing 
armed resistance by civilians, in cases and under con- 
ditions recognised as legitimate hy the Hague Conven- 
tions. And it was only from caution and from 
premonition of the fate which civilians would undergo, 
if they failed in any one of the conditions defined in 
the first article of the Hague Convention, that the 
Belgian Government recommended civilians to refrain 
from resistance. But a recommendation which was 
made only as a precaution against flagrant injustice 
does not rid an action, foreseen and in fact committed, 
of its unjust character. In spite of the advice given 
by their Government, the Belgians consequently did not 
lose their right " to take up arms spontaneously on 
the approach of the enemy to oppose invading troops," 
and, notwithstanding that opposition, of being treated 
as belligerents by the Germans. 

Did the Belgians exercise this right? In certain 
places it is reported that some people did exercise it. 
If the fact is as stated, we can see nothing in it but 
what is worthy of admiration. Such instances do 
infinite honour to Belgian patriotism. However, it 
appears clear that the order given was followed, and 
that the whole thing, if it took place at all, reduces 
itself to the acts of individuals. The acts of violence 
committed by the Germans have been no less far- 
reaching and extreme, so true is it that, though in- 
voking principles which were notoriously erroneous 
and cruel, the application which they made of them 
was nevertheless lying and arbitrary. Such is the 
first category of crimes committed by the Germans 
against non-combatants. 



140 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

Moreover, even if they had had in this respect 
some complaint to make of civihans, if they had been 
authorised by the law of war to punish acts of violence 
committed against them under conditions that were 
forbidden, the right of repression which they invoke 
could never go so far as the penalty of death. Every 
addition thereto in point of punishment is excess, and 
an indication of barbarism. To extend to a whole 
population reprisals inflicted in consequence of a 
single act is something no less abominable, but that 
is just what the Germans have done. 

Crimes committed by the Germans in the 
Exercise of Reprisals 

At Liege, on the 2ist August, a shot was fired from 
a house situate on the Quai des P^cheurs. Imme- 
diately the Germans opened fire with a machine-gun 
and blew up on the spot twenty houses, whose in- 
habitants were killed. Shortly afterwards ten other 
houses on the Place de I'Universite were set on fire, 
but as the flames seemed to be spreading too much, 
the firemen were ordered to put them out. 

At Champguyon, on the 6th September, a man 
named Louvet was arrested for having fired under 
conditions forbidden by the laws of war. He was 
liable to the penalty of death. Accordingly, ten 
German soldiers fell on the wretched man, beat him 
unmercifully with sticks in the presence of his wife, 
dragged him away covered with blood, broke his 
wrist, shattered his skull, and dragged him to the end 
of the village, where at length they gave him the 
finishing stroke. 

The same rule would apply to the cases of Andre 
Willen (twenty-three years of age), Gustave Lodts 
(forty) and Jean Marken (forty), all inhabitants of 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 141 

Aerschot, in Belgium, if they had been guilty. The 
Germans, instead of shooting them, bound them to 
a tree and beat them, before burning the first alive 
and burying the other two alive. 

In the province of Namur a young man whom some 
Uhlans had arrested was bound to two horses, who 
dragged him along, then tied to a tree, and finally 
shot. Under the same conditions M. Cognon, of Vis6, 
was thrown into the water with his abdomen torn open. 
Holding in his entrails with one hand, he clung with 
the other to a boat, until he grew weak and died. 

The innumerable mutilations inflicted on Serbian 
peasants at Chabatz and elsewhere show on this side 
of the area of war the same barbarism in the carrying 
out of reprisals. Some who were hardly wounded 
were buried alive, for they had been shot in the lump, 
and every one who fell was thrown into the common 
ditch which had been dug out beforehand. 

Massacres of Civilians for Paltry Reasons 

No less criminal are the attacks made by the Ger- 
mans on the lives of civilians, for paltry reasons, for 
slight insubordination to unimportant orders, or even 
for acts that were quite blameless. The following are 
some examples of these crimes. 

In the government of Warsaw the Germans killed 
a Polish magnate. Count Thomas Potocki, for merely 
protesting against a requisition. 

At Dartainitza, near Semlin, on the frontier of 
Austria and Serbia, the whole of the inhabitants were 
led by the Austrians to Petenwarden, where a quarter 
of them were shot. The accusation alleged against 
these peasants was that they had given expression 
to their joy when the Serbians had entered Semlin. 



142 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

It was the same with the villages of Bejania, 
Sourtchine, Beclika and Pancsova. 

At Vingias, in the department of the Aisne, the 
owner of a farm was thrown into the flames because 
he had harboured the French headquarters staff on 
his farm. 

At Mauperthuis four Germans who had previously 
come in the morning to the house of a man named 
Roger presented themselves again the afternoon. 
" There were three of you this morning ; there are 
now but two ! Get out ! " said one of them. Imme- 
diately Roger and an immigrant named Denet, to 
whom he had been giving hospitality, were seized, 
carried off and shot. 

A young druggist who lived in a village near Etain 
was shot for having gone to Etain with the sub-prefect 
of Briey, who had carried letters there for his fellow- 
citizens. 

As for non-combatants who were found carrying 
arms, they were consistently massacred. 



Massacre of Civilians without any Pretext 

Other executions took place without any pretext. 
Sometimes the Germans gathered together, without 
rhyme or reason, all the male inhabitants of a village, 
and chose at haphazard a certain number, whom they 
shot without any form of trial and simply with the 
object of terrorising the population. Sometimes their 
fury was directed against peasants who were already 
struck with terror, and then whoever showed any 
signs of wanting to avoid meeting the enemy was 
shot for the mere reason that he had tried to flee 
before the invader. Sometimes they took vengeance 
on the inhabitants of a village where one of their 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 143 

number had been killed by some enemy soldier in 
retreat. 

Sometimes they forced their way into houses, bent 
on pillage, and as they thought the presence of the 
inhabitants seemed inconvenient, they made haste to 
assassinate them. Sometimes the fusilade was merely 
an amusement or recreation for the Germans. This 
took place sometimes during their marches from village 
to village. The peasant who had the misfortune to 
find himself in their path at once had a taste of their 
cruelty. Sometimes the execution of peaceable, quiet 
people served the Germans as a consolation for checks 
which the enemy had inflicted upon them. Some- 
times, in their desire to offer some excuse for massacre, 
they have been seen to make a show of evacuating a 
village which it was said had been threatened, and 
then to fire some shots, which they then blamed the 
inhabitants for doing. Reprisals thereupon followed. 
Sometimes they attacked peaceable peasants because 
the latter opposed some offence which they wanted 
to commit. The following are some accounts of acts 
of this kind. They took place at Dinant, at Louvain, 
at Nomeny, at Luneville, where, perhaps to a greater 
extent than elsewhere, the fury of the invader was let 
loose upon inoffensive persons. 

At Dinant 

A Dutchman, M. Staller, has told as follows in the 
Telegraaf (quoted above, see Chap. XI) the story of 
the massacre of the people of Dinant. 

" On Friday, the 21st August, about a dozen Ger- 
mans ventured as far as the middle of the town in an 
armoured motor, a regular moving fortress. They had 
machine-guns with them, and whilst the motor rolled 
along they fired to right and left at the houses, aiming 



144 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

chiefly, I maintain, at the upper storeys. It was already 
late, and, as the majority of the people had retired, 
many of them were killed or wounded in their beds. 

" What happened on that night ? Were there some 
civilians who replied to this cowardly and unexpected 
attack by revolver shots ? I do not think so, for some 
days before, by order of the burgomaster, they had all 
given up their arms. Were the Germans drunk — as 
their comrades told me later — and had they a quarrel 
amongst themselves? What is certain is that the 
next morning three soldiers were found dead on the 
streets. I saw them. The Germans laid hold of this 
fact as an excuse for bombarding the town. 

** On Monday morning the Germans entered the 
town. Their first act was to arrest 153 civilians, to 
lead them on the Petite Place and shoot them. In 
these terrible days, at Dinant as well as in the sur- 
rounding villages like Anseremme, Leffe and Neffe, 
more than 800 persons were killed, amongst whom 
there were many women and children; and all this 
for three German soldiers? No; but the Germans 
alleged that after the bombardment, at the moment 
of their attack on the town, the inhabitants had fired 
from their houses. What had happened? I know 
very well, and the Germans could not fail to know it. 
The Grand Rue of Dinant, parallel with the Meuse, 
is joined to the river by a number of lanes; the 
French, who were posted on the other bank, killed 
through these lanes a large number of Germans, and 
the enemy pretended that the citizens had fired on 
them. They started then by shooting 153 people, 
after which 500 were arrested and brought to Cassel. 
As for us, we were brought to the Abbaj^e des 
Premontres; for three days women and children 
were shut up in little rooms without a seat, and the 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 145 

unfortunate women spent three days on a stone 
pavement almost without food. Four of them were 
confined under these terrible circumstances. Some 
officers took an infernal pleasure in making us every 
moment undergo the dread anticipation of death : 
they made us line up, and the soldiers pretended they 
were going to charge their rifles; then the officers 
laughed and said the execution would be resumed on 
the following morning. I am certain that some of 
those who were thus detained went mad. 

" But what a martyrdom was endured by the women 
and children who saw their fathers, husbands or 
brothers shot ! All this went on with frightful 
rapidity ; in the twinkling of an eye, in spite of heart- 
rending cries, the women and children were separated 
from the men and ranged on the other side of the 
Petite Place, then between the two groups were placed 
the platoons which were to execute them ; 153 wretched 
people fell bleeding; six of these, of whom two had 
not been touched by the bullets and four were only 
slightly wounded, shammed death, but the officer 
ordered the two who could still stand upright to rise, 
as there would be no more firing. When the six 
survivors obeyed, he gave the order, " Down with 
them also ! " Then he had machine-guns fired at 
the heaps of bodies. It is impossible to describe the 
grief and the cries of the women and children, but the 
monster who had given the order for this butchery 
remained unmoved. * Ladies,' he said, with a strong 
German accent, * I have done my duty.' Then off 
he went with his men. The bodies must have lain 
untouched on the square for three days; after this 
interval they were buried on the very spot where 
they had been executed. I took part in the work of 
interment." 

L 



146 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

At Louvain 

Several people who had been killed at Louvain by 
the Germans had been buried by them on the square 
in front of the railway station. The Kolnische Zeitung 
had the assurance to deny the fact. But search was 
made, and the bodies of these victims of German 
barbarism were discovered. The following account of 
the exhumation was given by the Tijd of Amsterdam, 
above the signature of a journalist who took part in 
the work in the presence of several Belgians, Colonel 
Lubbert, German commandant of Louvain, and his 
aide-de-camp. 

" Fortunately a fresh wind was blowing on that 
day, as the stench which came out of the open tomb 
was unbreatheable. The objects found on the bodies 
were immediately thrust into a sack, which was duly 
numbered. Twenty bodies were disinterred after 
frightful labour; twenty bodies jammed into a hole 
not more than four square metres in extent ! 

" We had to take infinite care not to collect legs or 
arms belonging to other bodies, so much were the 
limbs jumbled together. 

** Emotion overwhelmed us all, but the German 
Colonel Lubbert could not refrain from saying to 
the burgomaster, * How such an event could have 
taken place is incomprehensible when you think how 
educated and cultivated our people are.' And the 
aide-de-camp added, ' I am glad I was not at Louvain 
during these tragic moments ! ' Words which have 
their value, and which show that plain people in 
Germany now regret the indescribable act ordered 
by their leaders, in contempt of the laws of the most 
elementary humanity ! 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 147 

" Professor Maldague, who was among the wretched 
prisoners callously picked out one after another for 
slaughter, and who had miraculously escaped death, 
could not control the profound emotion which over- 
whelmed him. On that fatal day the crowd of people 
were forbidden to look at the atrocities committed by 
civilised Germany, but a woman who happened to be 
near Professor Maldague ventured nevertheless, and 
saw that the victims marked out for expiation were 
compelled to lie face downwards on the paving-stones. 
Then they were killed by shots in the nape of the 
neck, the back or the head. 

'* The majority of the victims consequently lay 
with skulls fractured, not merely as a result of shots, 
but of blows from the butt-end of rifles. Even that 
was not enough. All the bodies which were recovered 
— the medical reports assure us on this point — had 
been pierced through with bayonet thrusts. Some had 
their legs and arms broken. Two bodies only had no 
wound, A post-mortem examination of them will be 
made to discover the causes of death. 

" Mme. Van Ertrijck then recognised at the edge 
of the pit her husband, aged sixty years, the well- 
known cigar manufacturer, and her son, aged twenty- 
seven years; then appeared the bodies of a Belgian 
soldier, who could not be identified, and of a young 
lad not fifteen years old. The following victims were 
afterwards identified : Charles Munkemer, husband of 
Amelie Marant, born 1885; Edgard Bicquet, brewer 
at Boort-Meerbeek, whose family, known throughout 
Louvain, lives in the Rue de la Station; the retired 
Belgian Major Eickhorn, aged sixty years, inventor 
of short-range cartridges ; A. Van de Gaer, O. Candries, 
Mme. A. Bruyninckx, nee Aug. Marien ; Mme. Perilleux, 



148 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

aged about sixty years. But on turning over the 
ground we discovered a second tomb, which contained 
seven other corpses concealed under thirty centimetres 
of earth. 

" On the next day the melancholy task was resumed. 
In quite a small pit two more bodies were brought to 
light : that of Henri Decorte, an artisan of Kessel-Loo, 
and that of M. Van Bladel, cure of Herent. There 
was not a sound when the wretched priest's tall form 
was disinterred. R. P. Claes merely gasped, * The 
cure of Herent ! ' The poor man was seventy-one 
years old " (see the Temps of 5th February, 1915). 

At Nom^ny 

On the 2oth August, 1914, the 8th Bavarian 
Regiment entered Nomeny in command of Colonel 
Hannapel. " According to a story told by one of 
their soldiers,'' said the French Commission of Inquiry, 
** their leaders had told them that the French tortured 
the wounded by tearing out their eyes and gashing 
their limbs. Thus they were in a fearful state of 
unusual excitement. From all sides came the rattle 
of rifle shots. The wretched inhabitants, whom the 
dread of fire drove from their cellars, were shot down 
like game, some in their domiciles and others on the 
public road. 

" Messrs. Sanson, Pierson, Lallemand, Adam, Jean- 
pierre, Meunier, Schneider, Raymond, Dupoucel, 
Hazatte, father and son, were murdered on the street 
by rifle shots. M. Killian, seeing himself threatened 
with a sabre stroke, put his hands on his neck to 
protect himself. Three of his fingers were cut off 
and his throat cut open. An old man of eighty-six 
years old, M. Petit jean, who was seated in his arm- 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 149 

chair, • was struck by a ball which cracked his skull, 
and a German thrust Mme. Bertrand in front of the 

body, saying to her, ' You saw that ! ' M. 

Chardin, municipal councillor and acting mayor, was 
ordered to supply a horse and carriage. He had 
hardly promised to do all he could to comply, when 
he was killed by a shot. M. Prevot, who saw the 
Bavarians rushing into the chemist's shop of which 
he was in charge, told them that he was the chemist, 
and that he would give them all that they wanted, 
but three shots rang out and he fell with a heavy 
groan. Two women who happened to be with him 
escaped, but were pursued with blows from the butt- 
ends of rifles up to the approaches to the railway 
station, where they saw in the garden and on the 
road many corpses heaped together. 

** Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon 
the Germans forced their way into Mme. Fran9ois' 
butcher's shop. Thereupon she came out of her 
cellar with her son Stub and an employee named 
Contal. As soon as Stub came to the threshold of the 
outside door he fell, seriously wounded by a rifle shot. 
Then Contal, who escaped into the street, was imme- 
diately murdered. Five minutes afterwards, as the 
death-rattle was still in Stub's throat, a soldier leant 
over him and dispatched him with a blow of a hatchet 
in the back. 

" The most tragic incident of these horrible scenes 
took place at the house of M. Vasse, who had gathered 
together a number of people in his cellar in the 
suburb called Nancy. About four o'clock a party 
of about fifty soldiers forcibly entered the house, 
bursting open the door and the windows, and imme- 
diately set fire to it. The refugees then endeavoured 



150 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

to escape, but they were felled one after another at 
the exit. M. Mentre was first murdered. His son 
Leon then fell with his little sister, eight years old, 
in his arms. As he was not quite dead, the end of 
the barrel of a gun was put to his head and his brains 
blown out. Then it was the turn of the Kieffer 
family. The mother was wounded in the arm and 
shoulder; the father, a little son of ten years old 
and a little girl of three years old were shot. The 
scoundrels fired at them again as they were lying on 
the ground. Kieffer, who was lying on the ground, 
got a fresh bullet in the forehead; his son had the 
top of his skull blown off by a rifle shot. Then 
M. Strieffert and Vasse, one of his sons, were murdered, 
and M. Mentre was struck by three bullets, one in the 
left leg, another in the arm on the same side, and a 
third on the forehead, which was merely grazed. 
M. Guillaume, who was dragged out into the street, 
met his death there. Finally, a young girl called 
Somonin, aged seventeen years, came out of the 
cellar with her young sister Jeanne, aged three. The 
latter had her elbow nearly carried off by a bullet. 
The eldest threw herself on the ground and pretended 
to be dead, remaining for five minutes in fearful 
agony. A soldier kicked her and called out, * Kaput ' 
(done for). 

** An officer came up at the end of this slaughter. 
He ordered the women who were still alive to get up, 
and called out to them, * Go to France.' " 

At Luneville 

The murders at Luneville were committed, accord- 
ing to the French Commission of Inquiry, under the 
following circumstances — 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 151 

*' On the 25th August, after firing two shots from 
the inside of the Worms tannery, to make it appear 
that they had been attacked, the Germans rushed into 
a workshop of this manufactory, in which an artisan 
named Goeury was working in company with Messrs. 
Balastre, father and son. Goeury was dragged out 
into the street, stripped, and brutally ill-treated, 
whilst his two companions, discovered in the lavatory 
where they had sought refuge, were shot. 

" On the same day the soldiers came and called for 
M. Steiner, who was concealed in his cellar. His 
wife, in dread of some disaster, tried to keep him 
back. As she clasped him in her arms she was struck 
by a bullet in the neck. Some moments afterwards 
Steiner, having obeyed the command which had been 
given him, fell mortally wounded in his garden. 
M. Kahn also was murdered in the garden of his 
house. His mother, aged ninety-eight, whose body 
was burnt to a cinder in the fire, had previously been 
killed in her bed with a bayonet thrust, according to 
the story of an individual who was acting as inter- 
preter to the enemy. M. Binder, who was going out 
to get away from the flames, was also struck down. 
The German by whom he was killed admitted that he 
had wantonly killed him when the poor man was 
quietly standing before a door. M. Vernier met with 
the same fate as Binder. 

" About three o'clock the Germans, breaking the 
windows and firing shots, forced an entrance into a 
house in which were Mme. Dujon, her daughter, 
aged three, her two sons and a M. Gaumier. The 
little girl just missed being killed; her face was 
singed by a shot. At this moment Mme. Dujon, 
seeing her youngest son lying on the ground, begged 



152 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

him to get up and flee with her. She then noticed 
that he was holding with full hands his intestines, 
which were dropping out. The house was on fire and 
the poor lad was burnt to a cinder, as was M. Gaumier, 
who had been unable to escape. 

** M. Wingstermann and his grandson, aged twelve, 
who had gone to dig potatoes a little way off from 
Luneville, at a place called * les Mossus,' in the 
Chanteheux district, had the misfortune to meet the 
Germans. The latter put them both against a wall 
and shot them. 

'* Finally, about five o'clock in the evening, some 
soldiers went into the house of a woman named Sibille, 
in the same place, and without any excuse seized her 
son, dragged him off 200 metres from the house, and 
massacred both him and a M. Vallon, to whose 
body they had bound him. A witness who saw the 
murderers just when they were dragging off their 
victim saw them return without him, and declared 
that their bayonets were covered with blood and 
pieces of flesh. 

** On the same day a male nurse, named Monteils, 
who was tending a wounded enemy officer at the 
Luneville hospital, was struck by a bullet in the 
forehead as he was watching through the window a 
German soldier firing rifle shots. 

" On the following day, the 26th, M. Hammann 
and his son, aged twenty-one years, were arrested at 
their house and dragged outside by a gang who had 
broken in the door and entered. The father was 
unmercifully beaten, and as for the young man, when 
he tried to struggle a non-commissioned officer cracked 
his skull with a revolver shot. 

" At I p.m. M. Riklin, a druggist, who had been 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 153 

told that a man had fallen about thirty metres from 
his shop, went to the spot and recognised in the 
victim his own brother-in-law, M. Colin, aged sixty- 
eight years, who had been struck in the stomach by 
a bullet. The Germans alleged that this old man had 
fired on them, but M. [ Riklin formally denies this 
statement. 

*' Colin, he told us, was an inoffensive man abso- 
lutely incapable of any act of aggression, and quite 
ignorant of the use of firearms. 

*' The mind refuses to believe that all these mas- 
sacres took place without excuse," continues the 
French Commission of Inquiry. ** That, however, is 
the case. The Germans, it is true, have always given 
the same excuse, alleging that civilians were the first 
to fire on them. This allegation is false, and those 
who have made it have been unable to make it appear 
probable, even by firing rifle shots close to dwelling- 
houses, as they were in the habit of doing so that 
they might be able to declare that they had been 
attacked by unoffending civilians upon whose ruin or 
massacre they had decided. On many occasions we 
obtained proof of this; the following, for example, is 
one of many others. One evening, when a report 
rang out while the Abbe Colin, cure of Croismare, 
happened to be with an officer, the latter exclaimed, 
* That is sufiicient reason, M. le Cure, why you and 
the burgomaster should be shot and a farm burnt. 
Look ! there is one burning.' ' M. I'Officier,' replied 
the priest, * you are too intelligent not to recognise 
the crack of your rifle. For my part, I do recognise 
it.' The German did not insist." 



154 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

Outrages and Attacks on Hostages 

Before ending this chapter and putting on record 
the admissions which German officers and soldiers 
have involuntarily made on the subject with which 
we are engaged, we may draw up two other categories 
of criminal acts which they have committed : (i) the 
practice of taking hostages, everywhere and on all 
kinds of pretexts, some of whom were ill-treated and 
killed, and (2) the callous deportation of civilians to 
Germany. 

To take hostages from among civilians whom the 
fortune of war condemns to invasion is a thing so 
cruel in itself that all civilised nations try to limit the 
practice. The Germans, on the contrary, are noted 
for the fact that they extend it as much as they can. 
The name of hostages repeated everywhere gave a 
melancholy significance to the Prussian barbarism of 
1870. " This practice,'' writes Bluntschli, " is all the 
more open to criticism, as it endangers the lives of 
peaceful citizens without any fault of theirs, and, more- 
over, without bringing any appreciable increase of 
security." On the other hand, Geffcken writes : ** We 
cannot approve of the practice by which in iSyo Germany 
forcibly seized the chief people in enemy communes to 
secure the railroads against attacks by francs-tireurs." 

This opinion of German jurists, which is, moreover, 
shared by all writers, has not prevented the Germans 
from resorting in 1914 to the same practices as in 
1870, and even adding thereto fresh cruelties. 

In Belgium it was the clergy who principally served 
as hostages. The majority of the Belgian priests who 
had been ill-treated came under this category. 

M. Hottier, mayor of Homecourt; M. Varin, cure 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 155 

(both of whom were taken prisoner on the night of 
the 3rd — 4th August, 1914) ; MM. Alexis and Jean 
Samain (of the Souvenir Frangais) were taken away 
to Alsace and German Lorraine. 

MM. Hottier and Varin had both been denounced 
by a spy living at La Petite-Fin, whose reports served 
as a pretext for the accusation made against them by 
the German authorities. 

Mayor and cure were first brought to Malancourt, 
the seat of headquarters. 

" My companion," the mayor of Homecourt after- 
wards told an editor of UEst Republicain, " was 
more unfortunate than I. He was not allowed time 
to take his hat nor put on his stockings ; he was clad 
only in his cassock. He marched in a bad pair of 
slippers. His colleague at Malancourt clothed the 
wretched ecclesiastic. 

" They searched me, seized my purse, which con- 
tained a sum of twenty-seven francs, my papers. . . . 
But the acutest suffering which rent my heart was 
when the hands of a Boche officer snatched my poor 
ribbon of 1870, my humble decoration. It was as if 
I had been punished with a lowering of rank." 

MM. Hottier and Varin were transferred to Metz 
and brought before a court-martial. The former was 
charged with having organised a campaign of francs- 
tireurs ; in regard to the latter, another complaint was 
formulated — that he had urged some young people in 
the annexed territories to enlist in the foreign legion. 

The discussions ended in a double acquittal. But 
M. Hottier was treated with no more consideration 
on that account. For five days he was shut up in 
a cell, getting only food that was uneatable. For- 
tunately a generous intervention took place. M. 



156 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

Winsbach, an ex-chemist, succeeded in bringing 
about some mitigation of the rigour of certain orders. 
He enjoyed a high reputation at Metz. He used his 
business connections, his influence, his knowledge of 
the German and French languages sometimes to 
recommend sick people to the care of the doctors, 
sometimes to act as interpreter and express their 
desires or pass on their explanations. These are ser- 
vices which will never be forgotten by the hostages, 
to whom M. Winsbach rendered them with unwearied 
devotion. 

The hostages were brought from Metz to Ehren- 
breitstein, where there were 232 French prisoners, all 
natives of Metz, Thionville, etc. There were also the 
brothers Samain, the eldest of whom was (until the 
month of December) supposed in France to be dead, 
executed by the Germans. He had tried in vain to 
get news of himself brought through, but his corre- 
spondence could not escape the fine net of supervision 
which encompassed him. 

The majority of these hostages carried away by the 
Germans were detained by them. Only men of more 
than sixty years of age were set free in the month of 
November. M. Hottier and some of his companions 
then set off on the 20th November, went through the 
Grand Duchy of Baden, crossed the Swiss frontier, 
and finally arrived at Nancy. The brothers Samain 
were amongst those who were detained in Germany. 

In France, almost everywhere he went, the invader 
took hostages amongst the men of the villages or the 
representatives of authority. In Belgium also several 
people were carried off on the same plea. 

Everybody knows of the case of M. Max, mayor of 
Brussels, who was imprisoned at Glatz; but Brussels 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 157 

did not pay punctually the war tax which the Germans 
had levied on it. 

Often the hostages whom the Germans appeared to 
have taken merely for the time of their passing 
through disappeared. This was the case at Gueraid, 
Seine-et-Marne, where, of six hostages whom the 
Germans took, one only was able to escape and to 
return to the country; and at Revigny, where one of 
the hostages, a man named Wladimir Thomas, was 
never set at liberty again. 

In other cases the hostages were shamefully ill- 
treated. M. Colin, a Professor of Science at the 
Louis-le-Grand Lycee at Paris, who happened to be 
rusticating at Cogney, was carried off barefoot and 
in his shirt, loaded with insults as he went. Enraged 
at the treatment which other people and especially 
children were made to undergo, M. Colin said to a 
lieutenant, *' Have you not a mother ? " " My 
mother," the German officer had the insolence to 
reply, ** did not give birth to like you ! " 

The hostages taken at Lun6ville were no less brutally 
treated. Neither violence nor outrage was spared 
these peaceful citizens. They were put with their 
backs to the parapet of a bridge, before the houses in 
the town were set fire to, and the German troops who 
passed by behaved brutally to them. As an officer 
accused them of having fired on the Germans, a 
teacher among them pledged his word of honour that 

it was not so. " You French ," said the officer, 

" do not speak of honour, for you have none." One 
of the hostages taken at Luneville, named Rebb 
(sixty-two years of age), was pummelled on the face 
with the butt-end of a rifle, and bayoneted in the 
side. Nevertheless he continued to follow the column^ 



158 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

although he lost much blood. Then a Bavarian 
amused himself by inflicting fresh blows upon him 
and throwing a bucket at his head. 

The wretched old man died on the way, between 
Heramenil and Bures. 

Massacre of Hostages 

At Blamont in Lorraine, ex-Mayor Barthelemy, 
aged forty-six years, was taken as a hostage and shot. 
The same fate awaited the then mayor and the chief 
people in the locality; when the French entered the 
town they found notices on the walls announcing that 
these people would be shot on the following morning. 

This was also the case at Courtacon (Seine-et-Mame), 
where five men and a child of thirteen years, taken 
as hostages, were exposed to the French fire during 
an engagement. Another hostage, named Rousseau, 
a conscript of the 1914 class, arrested in the same 
commune, was murdered under tragic conditions. 

Questioned about the military position of this young 
man, the mayor, who happened to be amongst the 
hostages, replied that Rousseau had passed the military 
court, that he had been passed as fit for service, but 
that his class had not yet been called up. The Germans 
then made the prisoner undress, in order to discover 
what was his physical condition, then they put on 
his trousers again and shot him fifty metres away 
from his compatriots. 

Hostages in Serbia 

The hostages taken by the Austrians may be divided 
into two categories. They were, in the first place, the 
best-known Serbians, mayors or prominent inhabitants 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose imprisonment had 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 159 

no other object than to stop the invasion of that 
province by the threat of shooting them. The second 
category was composed of peasants, hving in Serbian 
villages, who were shot in order to strike terror into 
the inhabitants. Amongst the hostages of the first 
category several were shot. There were amongst 
them priests, both Orthodox and Catholic, the Mayor 
of Raguse, M. Tchingrin, the Vice-President of the 
Municipal Council of ihis town, Dr. Puglissi, the poet, 
and the Serbo-Croatian deputy, Tressitch. 

As for the others, here is the story told by M. Reiss, 
whom we mentioned above — 

" A group of hostages of from eight to eighty-two 
years had been brought to Lechnitza. There were 109 
of them. Quite close to the railway station of the 
place the soldiers dug a pit twenty metres long, three 
wide and two deep. In front of this grave they placed 
the group of 109 persons and bound them with ropes 
round their necks. Then a squadron of infantry took 
up a position on the slopes of the railway and fired a 
volley at the peasants. The whole group stumbled 
into the pit, and the soldiers threw earth upon them 
without having first made sure that all those who had 
been shot were dead. It is certain that a large number 
of victims had not been mortally wounded and even 
that some of them had not been struck at all. I 
think I am not mistaken in calculating that fifty per 
cent, of these poor people were buried alive. 

** During these proceedings, another group of forty 
hostages had been brought up. The latter were com- 
pelled to be present at the massacre of their fellow- 
citizens and they were forced to shout, whilst the 
others were being killed, * Long live the Emperor 
Franz- Joseph.' 



i6o OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

" I saw the pit opened into which these wretches 
fell, and I was able to establish the fact that the 
number of those who died of suffocation was very 
large. This huge human bundle was firmly fastened 
together : no rope had been broken." 

Deportation of Civilians 

'* The German military authorities had as profound 
contempt for liberty as for human life. Almost 
everywhere, people of every age were dragged from 
their homes and led away to captivity. Many died 
or were killed on the way." These are the words in 
which the French Commission of Inquiry denounces 
that other crime committed by the Germans in the 
territories which they had invaded. In several places 
the inhabitants found they were deported en masse to 
Germany to dig trenches or to replace German agri- 
cultural labourers. In other places the inhabitants 
were imprisoned. It is hardly necessary to say that 
such acts are a violation of the law of nations in the 
very point where it is most universally recognised. 
We read in the articles of the Hague Convention that 
operations of war may be carried on ** provided the 
inhabitants are not compelled to take part in them, 
in any form whatever," that " the occupant of a 
country shall not raise reserves among them, nor 
compel them to fight, nor put them in the trenches, 
nor employ them on the offensive," etc., and finally, 
*' that the peaceful and inoffensive inhabitants of the 
territory and passive enemies must not be taken into 
captivity." 

Although by carrying away hostages the Germans 
have done violence to that rule of law which is accepted 
by their own authors, the deportation of civihans is 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS i6i 

something more serious still, as it cannot be justified 
by any military necessity or by any plea for security. 

Nevertheless, this policy was practised on a large 
scale. The following are some examples. At Lebbeke, 
in Flanders, forty-five farmers were brought away and 
sent to Germany to make hay. At Boisschot, also in 
Belgium, 200 men were seized and deported to Ger- 
many for the same purpose. At Louvain, several 
thousand men, who escaped the fusilades and the 
conflagration, were led away to Germany. 

In France, in the department of the Nord, at Saint 
Pol-en-Ternois, 350 civilians were taken prisoner. 
This was also the case at Douai, Cambrai, Caudry, 
No yon, where the German authorities demanded that 
the young people of fifteen to seventeen years, a list 
of whom had been supplied by spies, should be re- 
turned. Those who failed to answer the summons 
were sought for, and they and their parents were 
shot. The inhabitants did as they were told, and 
the young people to the number of 4000 were made 
prisoner and brought to the Russian frontier to dig 
trenches or else to the German countryside to make 
hay. 

At Marcheville, at Saint Mihiel, women and children 
met with the same fate. At Avillers, too, all the 
men of sixteen to sixty years were brought away to 
Germany, including the deputy mayor, M. Alcide 
Blaise. 

As in the provinces of the Nord and Me use, so also 
in the Ardennes, the Germans made a regular practice 
of putting the inhabitants in prison. In all the towns 
and villages of this region men who were liable to 
be mobihsed were treated as prisoners of war. This 
was the case at Rethel, where Dr. Bourgeois and ten 



i62 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

of his colleagues had the experience of being shut up 
in a spinning-mill with 400 men taken from the villages 
of the province. The prisoners were compelled to 
work for their enemies : they had to wash the soldiers' 
linen, gather potatoes in the fields, and make earth- 
works. At Charleville, men whom the Germans had 
the assurance to call civil prisoners were employed 
in making entrenchments, while the women, as we 
have said above, were given sewing- work, which was 
to be used for the equipment of the troops. Their 
wage was half a loaf of bread. 

In the province of Oise, about a hundred inhabitants 
of Creil, Nogent-sur-Oise and the adjoining districts 
were imprisoned, and had to submit to the disgrace 
and vexation of working against their country, cut- 
ting a field of maize, which might have been in the 
way of the German fire, and digging trenches which 
were to be used as shelters for the enemy. For the 
seven days they were kept without food being dealt 
out to them. Fortunately the women of the country 
were able to get some provisions through to them. 

At Lamath (Meurthe-et-Moselle), three inhabitants, 
one of whom had chest complaint, were deported. At 
Amiens, in particular, the scandal of incidents of this 
kind was shocking. An order of the military au- 
thority, which the mayor thoughtlessly countersigned, 
required all citizens liable to be mobilised to go to 
the citadel and declare their position as regards mili- 
tary service. Relying on the mayor's signature, about 
1500 men, of whom nearly 800 were railway workers 
at the Amiens passenger and goods stations, went to 
the citadel. There the Germans made a selection. 
They sent back the men of the auxiliary services and 
kept the others as prisoners, to the number of more 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 163 

than 1000, whom they brought on foot to Personne. 
The wretched procession halted and slept at La Motte- 
en-Santerre. Some prisoners, with the assistance of 
the few residents in Santerre, managed to hide and 
make good their escape. The others were entrained 
and taken away to Germany. 

The second official report of the French Commission 
of Inquiry is full of really shocking details of outrages 
suffered by the French, who were taken from their 
homes and interned in Germany [Journal Officiel, 
nth March). 

Ten thousand of these wretched people were re- 
instated in French territory in the month of March. 
The order for internment had included a very large 
number of old men, children and women, several of 
whom were pregnant. All of these people had to 
submit to long and painful marches, ill-treatment and 
wretched diet. 

The Vareddes hostages especially went through a 
veritable Calvary. Several of them, all old people, 
were murdered, as we have already mentioned. Those 
of Sinceny, about 200 in number, were likewise 
shockingly ill-treated. 

At Gravelines, 2000 conscripts were deported, and 
all the natives of Combres, after being exposed to 
the French fire, were transferred to the camp at 
Zurickau. 

Life in the camps was intolerable. Several of these 
** civil prisoners " lay in tents : others were huddled 
together in prisons. At Landau, an old woman aged 
eighty-seven was undressed and drenched with petrol. 
She succumbed some time afterwards to the fearful 
bums which she sustained. Blows, ill-treatment and 
painful forced labour were the order of the day. We 



i64 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

cannot, therefore, be surprised at the enormous number 
of cases of death and illness among them. The only 
medicine prescribed by the doctors was tincture of 
iodine. As one of the victims said, " We were like 
burnt-out candles, for we no longer had the strength 
to stand upright." Those who went back to France 
had their health more or less permanently affected, 
and the mental depression to which they were subject 
was really an illness. The effects, therefore, of German 
activity continued after they were released. 

The Austrians followed the example of the Germans, 
even in carrying out this kind of policy, especially in 
Syrmie (Semlin and the regions adjoining). 

At Chid, also, all the inhabitants, children excepted, 
were deported : at Pazoon, M. Petrovitch, deputy to 
the Parliament of Pest, was arrested with his son, 
pummelled with the butt-end of a rifle, and deported. 
At Karlowitz and at Rouma, all the inhabitants of 
Serbian extraction were arrested and deported. 

The Germans admit all these Crimes 

As in the case of other kinds of outrage, so in that 
of the actions which we have just enumerated we 
are in possession of some admissions which have come 
from the Germans themselves. 

A soldier named Philip, of Kamenz in Saxony, 
writes as follows : ** At ten p.m. the first battalion 
of the 178th regiment went down into a burnt 
village to the north of Dinant, a sadly beautiful 
spectacle, which made us shudder. At the entrance 
to the village there lay about fifty citizens, who had 
been shot for having fired on our troops from an 
ambuscade. 

" In the course of the night many others also were 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 165 

shot, to such an extent that we could count more 
than 200 of them. Women and children, lamp in 
hand, were compelled to look on at this fearful sight. 
We then ate our rice in the middle of the dead bodies, 
for we had had nothing to eat since morning." 

'* At Leppes " (writes a Saxon oihcer, of the same 
regiment as Private Phihp, 12th army corps, ist 
Saxon corps), ''two hundred inhabitants were killed , 
among whom there must have been some unoffending 
people. In future, we must have a regular inquiry and 
establish the guilt of the accused before shooting 
them." 

Even the Kolnische Zeitung pubhshed the story of 
an eye-witness of the destruction of Aerschot, who 
would not have escaped had he not called out to the 
soldiers, " Do you want to kill a man who comes 
from Cologne ? " The Germans then set him at 
hberty again. '* In the streets," he writes, " the 
fusillade lasted the whole night. All those found in 
possession of a weapon were mercilessly shot. The sight 
was terrifying . . . the wretches who were shot lay 
on the pavement, and all the time fresh * culprits ' 
were being brought before the platoons charged with 
the task of execution. Women and children wept and 
asked for mercy. In spite of all their indignation at 
the attack which had been made upon them, no 
German heart could be untouched by pity for the 
innocent victims." 

In the notebook of Private Hassemer of the 8th 
corps we find this fearful confession — 

" 3rd September, 1914. At Sommepy (Marne), 
dreadful slaughter, the village burnt to the ground, 
the French thrown into the burning houses ; civihans 
and all burnt together." 



i66 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

** On the third of September, at Creil," writes a 
German soldier of the 32nd reserve regiment of infantry, 
'* the iron bridge was blown up. For this reason we 
set the streets on fire and shot civilians." 

The Saxon officer, some of whose narratives we have 
already reproduced, also admits that the inhabitants 
were not spared punishment by fire. ** The fine village 
of Gue-d'Hossus (Ardennes) has been consigned to 
the flames, although it had committed no offence that 
I can see. I have been told that a man on a bicycle 
fell from his machine and that, in his fall, his gun 
went off of itself, and then some one fired in his direc- 
tion. After that men were simply thrown into the flames. 
We must hope that atrocities of this kind shall not he 
repeated.'' 

" At Bouvignes, north of Dinant," writes this Saxon 
officer of the 178th Regiment of the Line, " we entered, 
through a breach made in the rear, the grounds of a 
well-to-do resident and occupied the house. Through 
a labyrinth of rooms we reached the entrance of the 
house. There lay the body of the owner. Outside, in 
the fields, the sight of the inhabitants who had been shot, 
and whose bodies were lying on the ground, baffles all 
description. The point-blank fusillade almost decapi- 
tated them. Each house was searched in the tiniest 
comers and the residents dragged out from all their 
hiding-places. The men were shot." 

The writer of this notebook alleges no pretext which 
would excuse or explain, in his eyes, all these murders. 
No more does the reservist Schlanter (3rd battery of 
the 4th regiment of field artillery of the Guard) 
mention any reason in justification of the murders 
which he describes. He writes : " 25th August. In 
Belgium, three hundred inhabitants of the town were shot. 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 167 

Those who survived the volley were requisitioned to 
act as grave-diggers (which proves that they were 
not considered guilty). You should have seen the 
women at this moment ! " 

" All the French, though civilians, were shot," writes 
another, ** if they only looked suspicious or ill-disposed. 
We shot them all : men and even young boys." 

** I have seen three convoys of French peasants 
pass by," writes a third; "all will be shot." An 
officer admits that the allegation that civilians took 
part in the fighting is a mere excuse. ** We shall say," 
he writes, " that it was not the civilians who fired, but 
it was the custom-house officers and foresters." The 
same admission is also made by a Saxon officer of 
the 178th regiment, who writes : " Near Lisogne, the 
23rd August. The company lost its way. Our men 
say that they could not advance any further, as 
francs-tireurs were firing upon them from the houses. 
We seized these alleged francs-tireurs, placed them in three 
ranks so that a single shot would hit three men at once." 

Lieutenant Eberlein, who (in the Miinchener Neueste 
Nachrichten) tells the story of the barbarous manner 
in which the troops entered Saint Die, added on his 
part : " Everybody who showed himself in the streets 
was shot." On the other hand, the commandant of 
the garrison of Hay was so enraged at the disgraceful 
conduct of the troops that he issued the following 
order of the day, which constitutes a terrible accusation 
against the Germans — 

" 25th August, 1914. 

" Last night a terrible fusillade took place. It has 
not been proved that the inhabitants of the town 
were still in possession of arms. Neither has it been 



i68 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

proved that civilians took part in the firing. On the 
contrary, according to all appearances the soldiers were 
under the influence of alcohol, and opened fire through 
incomprehensible fear of an enemy attack. 

" The conduct of the soldiers, with few exceptions, 
appears to have been disgraceful. 

" When officers, or non-commissioned officers set 
fire to houses without permission or order of the 
commandant, or at least of the senior officer, and 
encourage their troops to burn and pillage, it is an 
act in the highest degree to be deplored. 

" I expect that in every case strict instructions shall 
be given as to the attitude to be observed towards 
the life and property of civilians. I forbid any one 
to fire into a town without the order of an officer. 

" The regrettable conduct of the troops has had the 
result that a non-commissioned officer and a soldier 
have been seriously wounded by German fire. 

** Von Bassewitz (Major), 

" Commandant." 

Even the proclamations issued by the German 
authorities show for what hateful purposes the hostages 
were taken away, and how precarious was their con- 
dition as soon as the sHghtest check was inflicted on 
the German troops, or the slightest attack was made 
upon them. 

" The life of hostages," wrote Commandant Dieck- 
mann at Grivegnee, on the 6th September, " depends 
on whether the inhabitants of the communes previously 
mentioned keep quiet under all circumstances.*' And he 
adds, ** I shall mark in the hsts submitted to me the 
names of those individuals who must stay as hostages 
from noon on one day to noon of the next. 



AND FRANCS-TIREURS 169 

" If a substitute has not been found within reason- 
able time, the hostage will remain for a further twenty- 
fours in the fort. After this second period of twenty- 
four hours, the hostage will run the risk of death, if a 
substitute has not been found." 

Moreover, Marshal Von der Goltz, military governor 
of Belgium, caused to be posted up in Brussels on 
5th October, 1914, a proclamation in which the follow- 
ing announcement was made : *' In future, the localities 
nearest to the place where the destruction of railway 
lines and telegraph wires has taken place {whether they 
have been accessory or not) will be mercilessly punished. 
To this end hostages have been taken from all localities 
near to railroads threatened by such attacks, and at 
the first attempt to destroy lines of railroad, telegraph or 
telephone lines, they will he immediately shot." 

As for the deportation of civihans and the im- 
prisonment with which they were threatened, when 
they were not carried off to Germany, two German 
soldiers volunteered the following admissions : " On 
the 6th September," writes one of them, " we dispatched 
three hundred Belgians to Germany, including twenty-one 
cures." " We shut up," writes the other (Karl Bertram 
de Westeregein, near Madge burg), *' 450 men in the 
church at Aerschot. I myself happened to be near 
the church at the moment." 

Conclusion 

All this evidence and all these admissions are 
sufficient to prove the criminal nature of the German 
treatment of civilians whose territory had been invaded. 
The pretexts which they allege have no vahdity. They 
are only made for the sake of appearances, and, on 
the other hand, the acts which they committed are 



170 OUTRAGES ON CIVILIANS 

such as admit no kind of excuse and can in no case 
be justified. Nevertheless the German Government 
attempted to do so. The BerHn Cabinet undertook to 
prove that the inhabitants of Liege were guilty and 
deserved to suffer the fearful butchery which followed 
the entry of the Germans. To prove this the latter 
relied upon the evidence of a certain Hermann Costen, 
who was represented as a Swiss member of the Red 
Cross. But the chief of the Swiss police promptly 
published the following information — 

(i) M. Hermann Costen never belonged to the 
Swiss Red Cross. 

(2) M. Hermann Costen is not Swiss, as he was 
refused naturalisation. 

(3) For two years M. Hermann Costen has been 
under the surveillance of the Swiss police. I 
maintain that since the declaration of war this 
person only left Switzerland from the 9th to the 
14th August. It is absolutely impossible that he 
can have been at Liege at the period of the siege 
mentioned by you. 

(4) M. Hermann Costen left Switzerland finally 
in consequence of a decree of expulsion on the 
19th September. 

(5) M. Hermann Costen 's moral and material 
' credit is nil. He is an individual for whom there 

is little to be said. 

After the picture of German atrocities which has 
been put before us, it is not without its uses to form 
from this reply some idea of the duplicity which 
endeavoured to cloak them. 



CHAPTER XIV 

SYSTEMATIC ARSON. DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 

The life of the inhabitants of invaded countries, 
the honour of their women, the hberty of their youths 
were not the only blessings, which the Germans 
attempted to take away from them in contempt of 
all humanity and all law. Even the property of these 
inhabitants suffered from invasion. They had to gaze 
on the ruin of their ravaged homes, which the invader 
left to be devoured by the flames, and when, deprived 
of all their possessions, these wretched victims of 
invasion wanted to take refuge in the temples of God, 
this last resource was denied them, for the barbarians 
had sometimes destroyed the church, and sometimes 
taken possession of it to use as a barracks for their 
soldiers. 

Arson as a Policy 

As the French Commission of Inquiry remarked, 
arson was a common German practice, sometimes used 
as a weapon of destruction, sometimes as a means of 
intimidation. " The German army," adds this Com- 
mission, " in order to be prepared for it, has a regular 
equipment, including torches, grenades, fuses, petrol- 
sprinklers, rockets which carry inflammable matter, 
and even little bags containing pastilles of a very 
inflammable compressed powder. Its incendiary fury 
is chiefly manifested against churches and monuments 

interesting from the point of view of art or of history.'* 

171 



172 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

Often the invader was not content with sprinkhng 
the beds of dwelhng-houses with petrol, he took care 
also to heap straw under agricultural machines to 
destroy them, as well as dwelling-houses, harvests, and 
the cattle remaining in the stalls. This was done at 
Chateau-sur-Morin by the 76th German regiment. 

Often, also, arson was employed as a means to 
compel people to leave their houses, and to make it 
easier to pillage. As soon as they entered the villages 
the Germans, with this object in view, set fire to them. 
On other occasions they resorted to this method only 
when the loot was over : then the destruction of the 
houses of a village was only the crown of their work. 

It would be impossible to record in detail acts of 
this kind committed by Germans on all the invaded 
territories. We must be content with noting those 
cases in which parts of large towns were destroyed 
and whole villages disappeared. 

LOUVAIN 

The burning of Louvain must be regarded as an 
operation distinct from the bombardment. The bom- 
bardment was shght, but the burning fearful. The 
burning began on the 26th August at ten p.m. It 
was systematically carried out. In places where the 
fire did not catch on, the soldiers went from house to 
house throwing incendiary grenades. 

The largest part of the town, especially those parts 
of the upper town which included St. Peter's Church, 
the university and its Hbrary, the greater part of the 
scientific institutions of the university, and the town 
theatre were henceforth the prey of the flames. 

Everybody knows that the academic library of 
Louvain was one of the scientific treasures of Europe. 

In token of peace all the houses in Louvain were 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 173 

flying a white flag, strips of which might be seen 
floating over the ruins. 

The fire was still going on the next day. Far from 
taking measures to stop it, the Germans did all they 
could to keep it going by throwing into the flames 
all the straw they could find. On the 27th August 
Louvain looked like an old city of ruins. Drunken 
soldiers were walking about in it, carrying wine and 
brandy. The officers, seated in armchairs round tables, 
drinking like their men, looked on at the ominous 
results of the disaster. In the streets, the bodies of 
dead horses were decomposing in the sun, and the 
stench of putrefaction from them mingled with that 
of the fire, corrupted the air of the whole town. 

The conflagration came to an end on the 2nd Sep- 
tember. On that day four more fires were lit by the 
German soldiers in the Rue Leopold and the Rue 
Marie-Therese. Eight hundred and ninety-four houses 
were reduced to ashes within the precincts of the town 
of Louvain, and about five hundred in the suburb 
Kessel-Loo. The suburb of Berent and the commune 
of Corbeek-Loo were almost entirely destroyed. The 
suburb of Heverle was the only one which was respected, 
perhaps because the Duke of Arenberg, a German 
subject, has property there. 

The destruction of Louvain caused universal indig- 
nation, as the destruction of the Cathedral of Reims 
was to do a little later. In neutral countries public 
opinion was roused. 

In Sweden it was described as a " monstrous act of 
barbarism against humanity and against civilisation." 
In Spain the press gave voice to unanimous protests 
which recalled the fact that the Flemish treasures of 
Louvain had been respected from the time of Philip II 
to Napoleon I. The Portuguese Academy of Sciences 



174 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

invited the Academies of Science in all countries to 
raise public subscriptions for the purchase of books 
for the University of Louvain, and to keep alive the 
protest of the intellectual world against an act of 
destruction so barbarous. In America public feehng 
was profoundly stirred. One newspaper made itself 
the mouthpiece of general opinion on this topic when 
it declared " Germany could not complain if her crimes 
recoiled on her own head " {New York Tribune, 
2ist September, 1914). In Italy, finally, the Giornale 
d'ltalia, the Messagero, the Secolo, the Mattino, the 
Corriere delta Sera, the Perseveranza, the Piccolo {de 
Trieste) and the Avanti signed a letter inviting the 
citizens to testify their indignation at the Belgian 
Legation at Rome. 

The Burning of Nomeny 

Various crimes committed at Nomeny have had 
their place in foregoing chapters. But the burning of 
the place surpassed them all. On the 13th August, 
1914, at the cry " the Prussians, the Prussians," the 
inhabitants of this small village (in the province of 
Meurthe-et-Moselle) took refuge in the cellars. The 
German cavalry and infantry, sword unsheathed and 
revolver in hand, rushed, shouting, into the village. 
Mile. Jacquemot, an eye-witness of these incidents, has 
described them in the Nancy Est Repuhlicain in these 
words : " Having taken refuge in a cellar with thirteen 
other persons, she was followed by the Germans, who 
could not find where they had hidden. The Prussians," 
she said," went up out of the cellar again, but it was to 
sprinkle us with petrol through the vent-hole. They set 
fire to it. We were choking. We should die by burning 
or asphyxiation. We must go out at any cost. In 
a choice of deaths it is better to die of a bullet or a 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 175 

bayonet thrust. One of us has a watch. He looks 
at it. It is five o'clock. We had been there for 
seven hours ! A couple of young girls (for, with the 
women, there were only some children and old men) 
offered themselves. Three of us then started out, the 
two Miles. Nicolas and I. We went out past the 
outhouse. Everything in Nomeny was on fire. The 
whole street was in flames. We must not think of 
going along the side of the street. Henceforth we 
have only one hope, *. e. to gain the fields. We went 
into the first garden we came to. 

"As we went through the blazing streets, we had 
seen dead upon dead. There were some whose heads 
were split open. An old woman who would have been 
a hundred years old in the month of November dropped 
with exhaustion on the way. Of course she died. At 
the Zambeau infirmary, some bread and a little sausage 
meat were given us. We slept on the ground, and 
this morning, Friday, about six o'clock, we had to go 
packing." 

Senlis 

The burning of Senlis is one of the most frightful 
cases of destruction by fire of which the Germans 
have been guilty. They had hardly entered it on 
the 2nd September when they began to loot houses, 
and afterwards threw into them special bombs which 
caused fires to break out. As M. Emile Henriot has 
shown, in L' Illustration, 26th September, 1914 : "It 
was not the bombardment that started the fire. A 
callous and calculated purpose directed this work of 
destruction. There are witnesses who afiirm it, and 
in some houses spared by the fire, these incendiary 
bombs, which did not fulfil the mission, were found 
afterwards. Private houses, hotels domiciles of rich 



176 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

and poor, modern villas or exquisite mansions of 
former days — ^nothing was spared. The beautiful home 
of the law courts and the sub-prefecture, which dated 
from the time of Gabriel and Louis is no more." 
The cathedral, fortunately, was saved. 

" Horror ! " exclaimed M. Marcel Hutin of the Echo 
de Paris; "the whole Rue de la Repubhque, the 
principal street of Senlis, has been burnt down. Not 
a house has been spared. The hotels, private dwelling- 
houses, the castle, the town hall, the Houssaye Barracks 
— all, all in ruins. 

" On the first day of their arrival, after the bom- 
bardment (I was told by the inhabitants, glad in the 
midst of the mental and material affliction to see a 
face from Paris) the Germans began to set fire to the 
houses in the Rue de la Repubhque. On what pre- 
text? A tobacconist was alleged to have fired on 
them, and the unfortunate mayor (M. Odent) to have 
forgotten to cause all arms left in the possession of 
the citizens to be sent to the town hall. 

" And such scenes ! Some soldiers deposited in- 
cendiary bombs in the houses. Others, a few minutes 
afterwards, fired on the houses, which, being full of 
gases, immediately blew up. Nothing of them remains 
but the walls. 

*' Scenes of bestial savagery lifted these brutes to 
the highest pitch of joy : whilst the houses hard by 
were ablaze and the fire had just reached the topmost 
story of the Hotel du Nord, in the basement a dozen 
Death's-Head Hussars, tipsy, were playing infernal 
music on the piano, and singing with wild eyes. Out- 
side some cavalry were forcing their horses to leap 
through these furnaces ! It was frightful. All the 
night I had a horrible vision of Senlis burnt down." 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 177 

Baccarat 

" On the morning after their arrival at Baccarat " 
(on the 25th August, 1914), says M. Jean Rogier in 
the Petit Parisien, " without excuse, without any pre- 
text that the population had fired on them — for the 
mere lust of wickedness and destruction they set fire 
to the town. To begin with, they made an attack on 
the town hall. Soldiers bearing some resin torches, 
others cans of oil and petrol, marched as if on parade, 
to the town hall, splashed the walls with oil, emptied 
the petrol into the offices and the basement, and then 
threw their blazing torches into them. 

** This hellish baptism accomplished, they waited. 
Ah ! not for long. The flames burst forth with a 
fearful roaring noise, blackening the walls and rising 
above the front like a fiery serpent, and soon all was 
ablaze. 

*' This beautiful sight roused the brave soldiers. 
Close to the mayor's residence and along the whole 
length of each side of the Rue des Deux Fonts there 
were beautiful houses, the residences of middle-class 
citizens. They sprinkled these sixty houses with 
petrol and with oil and ran their torches against the 
damp walls, and some minutes afterwards the whole 
street was on fire. The flames leaped out of the cellars, 
ran along the walls, rose, grew larger and larger and 
climbed up to the roof. They joined each other from 
one side of the street to the other, and, uniting, leaped 
to the sky like pillars of fire. The whole air was red. 
Flakes of flame sped outside the town, and left behind 
a trail of smoke. Up there on the top of the church 
the weathercock which revolved on the spire of the 
ruined belfry gleamed like a jewel of iridescent stones. 



178 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

and all at once, in a din of thunder claps, all the houses 
collapsed and shed on the town a rain of sparks. 

" For five days the rubbish smoked." One hundred 
and two houses were burnt down. 

A Few Figures 

These narratives are eloquent and yet they are far 
from giving an idea of the destruction which the 
Germans left behind them. The figures tell us still 
more than the narratives. 

In Belgium, in fifteen towns and villages taken at 
random among the localities which the Germans 
systematically ravaged by fire, we note that 2191 
houses were burnt : in other words, on an average 
each Belgian locality damaged by the fire of German 
torches had 146 houses burnt down. Moreover, we 
have mentioned in our investigations, which were 
made at haphazard, the names of ten Belgian localities 
entirely destroyed by fire, including Tirlemont,Linsneau, 
Andennes, Schaffer, Spontin, etc. It may easily be im- 
agined what would be the result of a systematic inquiry. 

In France, the number of villages completely burnt 
down like Nomeny, Sommeilles, etc., was very great. 

Some idea of the damage done may be formed from 
the fact that in the Meurthe-et-Moselle province alone 
twenty-two places suffered from fire. Of these twenty- 
two, two were completely destroyed (Villers-aux- Vents 
and Sommeilles), and in the other twenty, 663 houses 
were burnt. This gives an average of twenty-three 
houses a district. 

Burning of Historic Monuments and Castles 

It was not merely at Reims during the bombard- 
ment, and at Louvain during the fire, that the Germans 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 179 

showed their contempt for monuments and the treasures 
of art and science contained in them. In the following 
chapter we shall take note of the loot carried on in 
the interiors of these buildings. Here we speak only 
of fire and general destruction. Several castles were 
burnt down : those of Varolles, Moque-Souris, Sparre 
(in Chierry), the chateau of Brumetz (Aisne province), 
the town hall of Luneville, the house of M. Alberic 
Magnard, author of Berenice (at Baron), who saw all 
the works of art accumulated there, in value exceeding 
a million francs, destroyed by fire. In Poland, the 
town hall of Szydlowice, an architectural masterpiece, 
was destroyed, notwithstanding the 5000 crowns which 
the inhabitants of the place paid to the German 
commandant to secure its preservation. 

Sacrilegious Fires 

None the more were churches spared. The invader, 
the enemy alike of his foe's taste and of his rehgious 
faith, spent as it were a double ferocity on the work 
of destroying the temples of God. 

" The church at Aerschot," writes the Belgian 
Commission of Inquiry in one of its reports, " is a 
lamentable spectacle. Its three entrances and those 
of the sacristy have been more or less consumed. 
The entrance leading to the nave, and the side entrance 
on the right, both of massive oak, seem to have been 
hammered with a battering-ram after the flames had 
reached them." 

The same was the case at Revigny, the church which 
was classed among historic monuments, and in many 
other Belgian and French villages which, when they 
were totally or partially destroyed by fire, also lost 
the home of their religion. 



i8o SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

Desecration of Churches 

The Germans were not content with destruction. 
On several occasions they went out of their way to 
desecrate holy places ; so much perversity, worse even 
than barbarism, is there in the regular habits of this 
nation and in the education which they receive. 

The church of Aerschot was not merely burned, it 
was also polluted; and the following narrative, given 
by a woman who was an eye-witness, a correspondent 
of the Evening News (of 24th September, 1914), will 
help to give us some idea of what went on there — 

" On the high altar," wrote this journalist, *' there 
were three empty champagne bottles, two rum, a 
broken bordeaux bottle and five beer bottles. In 
the confessionals other champagne, brandy and beer 
bottles, also empty. 

" On the marble flags, heaps of straw everywhere, 
heaps of bottles, rubbish and filth. On the forms, on 
the chairs, bottles and still more bottles, champagne, 
beer, rum, bordeaux, burgundy and brandy. In all 
directions wherever we cast our eyes, to whatever 
part of the church we looked, there were nothing but 
bottles by the hundred, by the thousand, perhaps; 
everywhere bottles, bottles, bottles. 

" But the sacristan in a trembling voice appealed 
to me. * Madame, do look ! ' and he showed me a 
white marble bas-relief representing the Virgin. They 
had quite broken the head of the Virgin ! 

" A little further away there were splendid wood 
carvings, representing an episode in the life of Christ. 
They burnt the face and half the body of Christ ! 
Why? For the mere pleasure of destruction, as they 
slashed with the sword or bayonet the tapestries and 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES i8i 

costly lace which covered the altar. On the walls 
hung priceless paintings, the work of Flemish old 
masters. These they cut along the frames. 

" They brought a pig into a little chapel, to the 
right of the nave, and killed it there. 

" On all sides the walls and flagstones bore the 
marks of prancing horses which had been stabled in 
the sanctuary." A pyx was taken away by the 
Germans from the church of Hofstade. A Belgian 
priest found the gilt copper foot of it on the way into 
the village. All the precious stones which adorned it 
had been taken away, and the Germans also kept the 
upper part of silver gilt. 

In France, likewise, churches were desecrated, and 
the Germans used that of Betz as a barracks. When 
they had gone, one could see in it straw mattresses 
lying on the flagstones, empty bottles in rows on the 
altar steps, the remains of food on the forms and 
chairs, a leg-of-mutton bone thrown into the font, 
etc. 

On the 25th October a battahon of the 123rd 
infantry regiment of Wurtemburg Landwehr entered 
the village of Seugern, at the bottom of the Gueb wilier 
valley and, on a signal from their leader, immediately 
set fire to it. The latter, a lieutenant, reserved for 
himself the church, which he entered at the head of 
ten men. In obedience to their officer's orders the 
gang started operations by destroying the organ, 
then broke down the confessionals and the high altar, 
and, making a heap of images in the nave, drenched 
them all with petrol. 

A single Catholic soldier refused to take part in this 
infamous work. He was, therefore, disarmed and shot 
the following morning. The arrival of the French 



i82 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

Chasseurs Alpins fortunately prevented the church, 
which had been polluted, from being devoured by fire 
as well. 

The little church of Vitrimont (a league away from 
Vitrimont) was also desecrated by the Germans. Its 
stained glass was shattered, its door smashed to pieces, 
and in the nave the sacrilegious invaders left nothing 
but a confused heap of timber, plaster, jagged benches, 
broken glass. Vestments of the priests, the images of 
the saints, the costly cloths, the beautiful embroidered 
work, the trimmings of the altar, and the tiny treasure 
of the sacristy were all found on the road in the mud. 

In Russia 

Instances of desecration of churches, Orthodox and 
Catholic, were still more numerous in Russia. The 
cause of this lies in the orders which were given to 
attack the Russian or Pohsh peasant through his 
religion, the most sacred of his possessions. 

The worst of these outrages was that suffered by 
the famous church of Our Lady at Tchenstokhova. 
It is the great centre of national pilgrimage, to which 
more than a million people go each year. The Germans 
did not shrink from desecrating this renowned sanc- 
tuary and looting the famous convent of the Virgin. 
In particular the two churches at Radom (in the 
province of Kielce) suffered from the German invasion. 
The soldiers, who spent the night there, littered the 
ground with straw, broke the locks of the drawers 
and the chests, smashed the various images and left 
everything in frightful disorder. 

At Mlava the churches and synagogues were con- 
verted into barracks. At Souvalki, after the Germans 
had gone, it was shown that they had made a stable 



DESECRATION OF CHURCHES 183 

of the church, for round about were lying the drop- 
pings of horses, and hooks and rings had been fastened 
to the walls. On the altar there were traces of a 
meal; beside the shattered remnants of the clock 
several empty bottles and dirty cloths had been left 
behind, and there were marks of filthy stains. The 
vestments of the priests had been used to cover 
horses ; the sacrilegious plunderers had carried off the 
candelabra and the altar cloth. 

At Calvaire (in the province of Kovno) the Germans 
threw the altar-piece, the cross, and various other 
images into the privies. At Grasewo, Krasno, Topo- 
leza, Konsk and Kielce, similar acts were noted. At 
Mariampol (in the province of Kovno) the Germans 
sacked the college library, forced their way into the 
church and desecrated the altar by dining at it. The 
remains of this dinner and dirty stockings were found 
under the altar. 

Finally, at Volkawisky two churches were dese- 
crated. One was sacked and its silver cross stolen; 
the other, the regimental church, was converted into 
a barracks, and the priests' vestments were used as 
dishcloths. 

German Admissions 

We must not omit the chapter of admissions. So 
far as the burning of Aerschot is concerned, we find 
one of these admissions in the Kolnische Zeitung, 
whose correspondent admits that " the sight was 
alarming." He adds that " the town was ablaze on 
all sides " and that " the barrels of spirits of wine 
blew up with a deafening clatter." 

The Saxon officer of the 178th regiment, whose 
evidence we have already put on record, writes that 



i84 SYSTEMATIC ARSON 

" the fine village of Gue-d'Hossus (Ardennes) was aban- 
doned to the flames, although so far as I could see it 
was innocent." 

A soldier of the 32nd reserve infantry regiment 
notes in his pocket-book that " the streets of Creil were 
burnt down " by way of reprisals and because the iron 
bridge was blown up. 

A soldier of the reserve named Schaulter writes : 
" The crack of rifle shots was heard when we left 
Ovela, but, in it, fire, women, and our leavings." So 
common was the practice of which he mentions one 
result, that he did not think it necessary to give any 
details. Arson, pillage, sacrilege, violation, such were 
the solemn rites of invasion. 

The non-commissioned officer, Hermann Levith, of 
the i6oth infantry regiment, 8th corps, says that " the 
enemy occupied the village of Bievre," and adds, 
** We took the village, then burnt nearly all the houses." 
Another, Private Schiller, of the 133rd infantry 
regiment, 19th corps, writes : ** It was at Haybes 
(Ardennes) that on the 24th August, we had our first 
battle. The second battalion entered the village, 
searched the houses, sacked them and burnt those from 
which any one had fired." A Bavarian soldier, Reis- 
haupt, of the 3rd infantry regiment, ist Bavarian 
corps, writes : " Parux (Meurthe-et-Moselle) was the 
first village we burnt; after that the dance began — 
one village after another." 

Would it not have been believed that setting fire 
to a country was part of the methods of attack and 
of acts permitted to a conqueror? What formerly 
was an exceptional occurrence, which remained in 
the memory of men as an unheard-of crime, is in 
German eyes the usual way of war. 



CHAPTER XV 

systematic pillage and theft. robbing the 
wounded and the dead 

The German Idea of War-booty 

The cherished idea of the German soldier is that 
war permits and excuses everything. Consequently 
the property of the inhabitants of the territory he 
invades does not seem to him to be immune from his 
cupidity. If the lust of possession seizes him, he thinks 
it is a brilliantly won booty, which rewards him for 
his efforts. 

Nevertheless, international law only recognises as 
booty what is taken from a state ; in all other cases 
it is pillage, and Bluntschli, the well-known German 
jurist, stigmatises it as emphatically as any one. 

Let us add that it is not merely the German private 
soldier who shows that he is capable of this violation 
of law. The officer and even the general share this 
view, and commit this crime. In the majority of 
these cases pillage was not an accident, but a system, 
and has taken place under such conditions that it 
could not have been carried out if the officers had not 
approved of it. In many cases it was they who set 
the example. Pillage was reduced by them to the 
movements of a military operation. The narratives 
which will follow will make that clear. For the present, 
we shall quote the letter of the wife of a German officer 
living in Berlin, which the Spanish Embassy at Berne 

185 



i86 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

received during the month of January, in which this 
woman admitted that she was in possession of a quantity 
of ohjets d'art, of which she suppHed an inventory. 
These articles her husband had sent her after the sack 
of a chateau in France. She added that her husband 
had taken these articles to leave them in safety with 
her, that her conscience would not allow her to keep 
them without giving a hst of them, and that she wished 
to see them restored to their owner after the conclusion 
of hostilities. 

In conformity with this evidence, the French Com- 
mission of Inquiry declared that " in every place 
through which a company of the enemy passed they 
gave themselves up to a methodically organised pillage, 
in the presence of their leaders, and sometimes even 
with their active assistance." 

The Objects of Pillage 

Pillage covered everything, everything at least 
that could be carried away. What could be consumed 
was used at once, letters were everywhere pillaged. 
*' Strong-boxes," said the Commission of Inquiry, 
** have been gutted, and considerable sums robbed or 
taken by violence from them. A large quantity of 
silver and jewels, and also of pictures, furniture, 
objets d'art, linen, bicycles, women's clothes, sewing- 
machines, and even children's toys, have been taken 
away and put on wagons, to be brought to the 
frontier." 

The Temps gave an inventory of articles found in 
two trunks carried off in a motor by German soldiers. 
This booty came from Belgium. 

" First trunk : four table-cloths marked M. S., one 
sheet, one woman's chemise marked M. B., two 
petticoats, one white-and-red bodice, one dress-bodice 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 187 

and velvet skirt marked ' Maison Richard Ruelens, 
rue des Joyeuses-Entrees 36, Louvain ' ; two blouses, 
a skirt and jacket of velvet, four gowns, a muff, a 
woollen necktie, the back of a pedestal, two electro- 
plated teapots, a silver coffee-pot, a porcelain article, 
a teacup, table-knives with silver handles, and a 
dessert-knife. 

" Second trunk : a bronze figure of a Cossack with 
inscription in Russian characters, four cases containing 
table-knives, a silver tray, two nickel candlesticks, a 
small mirror, two revolvers, four swords, seven pairs 
of ladies' boots, two pairs of high-heeled shoes, a note- 
book in which was written on the first page '21st July : 
paid 10 fr. 80 ' ; a registration book of the State Railway 
Co. ; two white petticoats, four of which were marked 
L. S. ; two muffs, a stole, five dress-bodices, one of 
which was marked ' Maison Richard Ruelens, rue des 
Joyeuses-Entrees 36, Louvain ' ; a black evening 
cloak, a woman's nightgown marked M. B., two 
table-cloths, two ostrich feathers, an evening dress, 
a child's embroidered dress, four pairs of stockings, a 
reticule with the price 1.35 marked on a label, an 
overcoat with silk lapels marked * Maison Fevrier, 
Maubeuge.' " 

The result of such acts was that the not-too-opulent 
inhabitants of Belgium and north-east France lost 
all they had. The looters carried off what was not 
devoured by the flames, and it must be added that the 
work of pillage, no less than of massacre, rape and arson, 
was carried out with even greater fury when the 
inhabitants thought they had stalled it off by their 
entreaties. The fact has been noticed, especially in 
Belgium, that houses which bore inscriptions hke 
"Please spare," or "Decent people; do not plunder 
them," were sacked and pillaged first. 



i88 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

The most conspicuous acts of this kind took 
place in Belgium at Lou vain, Aerschot and Dinant; 
in France at Luneville, Clermont-en-Argonne, and 
Chateau-Thierry. 

Pillage a General Practice 

Other towns and villages saw acts hke these re- 
peated many times. Here are some examples taken at 
random. 

In the Province of Aisne, the village of Brumetz was 
sacked; in that of Jaulgonne, the Prussian Guard 
emptied cellars and carried off linen : theft and destruc- 
tion combined resulted in loss to the extent of 250,000 
francs. At Charmel similar incidents occurred. At 
Peronne, the inhabitants had to endure levies imposed 
on them without ceasing. All inhabited houses were 
searched from cellar to attic and stripped bare. Shops 
that were found shut were forced open. Whole trains 
full of stolen furniture were brought away to Germany. 

At Baccarat it was the same. Everything that the 
German soldier thought right to take was taken. They 
took wine and flour. At the glassworks the finest 
articles, cut-glass services, were packed up with a 
care which showed every characteristic but blind 
violence, and packed on wagons directed to Sarre- 
bourg. Carts laden with furniture also took the 
same road. 

At Barbery and at Charmont men forced their way 
into the rooms of private houses, having first turned 
out the residents. Furniture and family property — 
all were taken, and thrown out of the windows or carried 
off. The village of Bussieres, near Chateau-Thierry, 
was completely destroyed, of set purpose. The 
Prussians pillaged there everything they could find. 
The remainder was destroyed, pulled about, broken up. 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 189 

carried off, smashed to atoms by a kind of savagery. 
Then it was set on fire, and the flames finished the work 
of devastation. 

At Albert, Captain Zirgow from the 30th August 
authorised the soldiers under his command to visit, 
so he said, unoccupied houses. This was as much 
as to give them carte blanche for pillage and theft. 
Consequently the booty taken by the Germans in this 
district was of great value. 

The town of Coulommiers was widely pillaged ; silver, 
linen, boots were taken away, especially from deserted 
houses, and many bicycles were packed on motor- 
lorries. 

At Rebais a jeweller's shop was sacked. 

At Nomeny, before burning the town the Germans 
took out of the dwelling-houses all that they thought 
worth carrying away. They sent everything to Metz. 
At Beauzemont, the chateau was looted by officers 
of the German general staff, accompanied by their 
wives; at Drouville, at Herimenil, at Jolivet, there 
was systematic pillage. In the last locality a sum of 
600 francs was stolen by a German. 

At Choisy-au-Bac, in Valois, the German soldiers, 
in presence of their officers, gave themselves up to 
general pillage, the fruits of which were carried off in 
carriages stolen from the inhabitants. Two military 
doctors wearing the Red-Cross brassard with their 
own hands pillaged Mme. Binder's house. 

At Trumilly the looting was carried out in perfect 
order. A non-commissioned officer on the general 
staff of the 19th regiment of Hanoverian Dragoons 
robbed Mme. Huet of 10,000 francs' worth of jewels. 
The German colonel, to whom this lady made com- 
plaint, approved of the non-commissioned officer's 
action. Another German soldier of the 91st infantry 



igo SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

regiment was guilty of several thefts to the value of 
815 francs. And these cases were not the only ones 
clearly proved in this district. 

Looting of Louvain 

During the days which followed the burning of 
Louvain, the houses which remained standing and 
whose inhabitants had been driven out were handed 
over to be looted under the very eyes of the German 
officers. 

This pillage lasted eight days. In bands of six or 
eight the soldiers forced in the doors or broke in the 
windows, rushed into the cellars, soaked themselves 
in wine, threw the furniture about, broke open safes, 
stole money, pictures, ohjets d'art, silver, linen, 
clothing, provisions. 

A great part of this booty was loaded on military 
wagons and carried off to Germany by railroad. 

Looting at Aerschot 

M. Orts, Adviser to the Legation, Secretary of the 
Belgian Commission of Inquiry, stated that the town 
of Aerschot was partially destroyed by fire, but that 
so far as the rest was concerned, he could afhrm that 
it had been completely sacked. 

" I went into several houses," he said, " and passed 
through the different storeys. Every where the furni- 
ture had been thrown about, gutted, polluted in a dis- 
graceful manner. Paper-hangings fell in strips from 
the walls, the doors of the cellars were burst in, the 
locks of the chests, drawers, and all the cupboards had 
been picked and their contents taken. Linen, articles 
of the most different kinds, and an incredible number 
of empty bottles covered the ground. 

" In the middle-class houses, pictures were slashed 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 191 

and works of art broken. On the door of one, a huge, 
fine-looking building belonging to Dr. X, the following 
inscription, half rubbed out, might still be read in 
chalk : ' Please spare this house, as the people in it 
are really peaceable, decent folks. Signed, Bannach, 
Orderly.' I went into this building, in which I was told 
some officers had been billeted, and which the kindness 
of one of them appeared to have saved from the 
general destruction. On the threshold a faint smell 
of spilt wine called attention to hundreds of empty 
or broken bottles, which were heaped up in the porch 
or the staircase and in the court leading into the 
garden. Unspeakable disorder reigned throughout 
the rooms; I walked on a layer of torn clothing and 
tufts of wool which had fallen out of the gutted 
mattresses. Everywhere furniture smashed open, and 
in all the rooms within reach of the bed more empty 
bottles. The dining-room was heaped with them, 
dozens of wine-glasses covered the large table and the 
smaller ones which pressed against the slashed arm- 
chairs and sofas, while in the corner a piano with dirty 
keys seemed to have been smashed with kicks of a 
jackboot. Everything showed that these places had 
been for many days and nights the scene of shameless 
debauchery and drinking-bouts. On the Place du 
Marche the interior of the house of M. X, a solicitor, 
presented a similar appearance, and, according to the 
statement made to me by a quartermaster of gen- 
darmerie, who, with his men, tried to restore a little 
order into all the chaos, it was the same with the 
majority of houses belonging to prominent families 
in which the German officers had chosen to take up 
their quarters. 

" All valuables which their owners had not had 
time to put in a place of safety — silver, family jewels. 



192 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

loose money — disappeared, and the inhabitants declare 
that arson frequently had no other purpose than to 
destroy the proofs of unusually serious thefts. Wagons, 
packed full with loads of booty, left Aerschot in the 
direction of the Meuse." 

Looting at Dinant 

The Dutch journalist whom we have quoted writes 
in the Telegraaf with regard to this town — 

" In the Banque Henri the Germans had a dis- 
appointment, for they could not find where the safe 
had been concealed, but they stopped the manager and 
his son at the very moment when they were trying to 
escape on bicycles. As they refused to reveal the 
secret, they were killed with revolver shots. At 
the Banque Populaire the Germans, indeed, found the 
safe, but the greatest part of the money which it con- 
tained had already been transferred to a place of 
safety. The brigandage carried on was frightful, and 
to find a parallel to it we should have to go back to 
the days of the blackest barbarism." 

Looting at Lun^ville 

" During the early days," says the French Com- 
mission of Inquiry, " the Germans were content to 
pillage, without otherwise molesting the inhabitants. 
Particularly was this the case on the 24th August, 
when Madame Jeaumont's house was stripped. The 
stolen articles were put in a great cart, in which were 
three women, one clad in black, the other two wearing 
military costumes, and having the appearance, we were 
told, of canteen-attendants. 

" On the 25th August, M. Lenoir, aged sixty-seven 
years, was brought out into the fields with his wife, 
their hands tied behind their backs. After both had 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 193 

been cruelly ill-treated, a non-commissioned officer 
took possession of a sum of 1800 francs in gold which 
Lenoir had about him. Indeed, the most audacious theft, 
as we have already said, seems to have been part of 
the habits of the German army, who made a regular 
practice of it . The following is an interesting example — 
'* During the burning of a house belonging to 
Madame Leclerc, the safes of two tenants had resisted 
the flames. One, belonging to M. George, under- 
inspector of waterworks and forests, had fallen into 
the ruins; the other, owned by M. Goudchau, estate- 
agent, remained fastened to a wall on the second storey. 
Non-commissioned officer Weiss, who knew the town 
well, as he had often been well received there when he 
visited it before the war in his capacity as hop-merchant, 
came back with his men to the place, gave orders to 
blow up with dynamite the piece of wall which remained 
standing, and made sure that the two safes should be 
brought to the station, where they were placed in a 
wagon bound for Germany. This Weiss was in the 
special confidence and favour of the commandant. 
It was he who at the quarters of the commandant had 
the duty of administering the commune in some sort 
of fashion and of arranging for levies." 

Looting of Clermont-en-Argonne 

Let us quote the Commission of Inquiry — 
" On the 4th September, during the night the 
12 1st and 122nd Wurtemberg regiments entered, 
breaking the doors of the houses as they passed, and 
giving themselves up to unrestrained pillage, which 
was to continue during the whole of the following day. 
Towards midday a soldier kindled the fire. When 
the fire had gone out, pillage recommenced in the 
houses spared by the flames. Articles of furniture 
o 



194 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

taken from the house of M. Desforges, fabrics stolen 
from the shop of M. Nordman, hnen-draper, were 
piled up in the motors. A surgeon-major took all 
the hospital dressing materials, and a commissioned 
officer, after writing at the entrance to the Lebondidier's 
house a notice forbidding pillage, caused a large part of 
the furniture with which this mansion was furnished to 
be taken away in a cart, intending them, as he boasted 
without shame, for the adornment of his own villa. 

" At the time when all these incidents took place 
the town of Clermont-en-Argonne was occupied by 
the 13th Wurtemberg corps under the orders of 
General von Durach, and by a troop of Uhlans, under 
command of the Prince of Wittenstein." 

Looting of ChAteau-Thierry 

Chateau-Thierry was looted in the presence of 
officers, who must even have taken part in it, if we 
are to judge by the example of two German doctors, 
surprised in town by the arrival of the French troops, 
and who were then included in an exchange of 
prisoners. Their cases were opened, and in them were 
found articles of clothing obtained by looting shops. 

" During the whole week which the German occu- 
pation of Chateau-Thierry lasted," wrote the Temps 
of the 25th October, 1914, " shops and rooms were 
methodically pillaged; jewellers and bazaar owners 
were plundered most of all. Patients under treatment 
in the Red Cross hospital whose wounds did not 
prevent them walking, went through the town all day, 
thieving here and there, and then returned in the 
evening with their booty to sleep in hospital. 

" One day they offered Mile. X some bonbons which 
they had just stolen, and they appeared much surprised 
when the young Frenchwoman refused their present. 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 195 

" Lorries loaded with stolen articles were lined up 
on the road to Soissons as far as the eye could reach. 
A non-commissioned officer and four men were seen 
to drag along a little English cart, nicely fitted, quite 
loaded with booty. 

" Needless to say, the cellars were completely 
emptied. Not a single pot of preserve at Chateau- 
Thierry; blankets, sheets, table-cloths, napkins — 
everything was carried off. The Chateau of Belle- Vue, 
which belongs to M. Jules Henriet, was not burnt, but 
everything in it was plundered. Chests, desks, all the 
furniture were forced open. As for silver, for the most 
part it disappeared from the houses that were sacked." 

Serbia and Russia 

The same kind of thing took place in Poland and 
Serbia. At Chabatz the shops were broken open and 
the goods which they contained stolen. 

In the Report of the Serbian Commission of Inquiry 
it is said that at Prngnavor and in the outskirts all 
the furniture of the inhabitants, such as beds, chests, 
chairs, tables, sewing-machines, and even stoves had 
been completely smashed and thrown outside the 
houses. The Commission also declared that all the 
domestic animals which had not been used for food 
or taken away were slaughtered. 

Theft of Pictures and Various Objets d'Art 

Ob jets d'art of every kind and pictures were several 
times stolen in this way both in Belgium and in France. 
The review Kunst und Kiinstler, in an article from the 
pen of Professor Shaeffer, who goes so far as to specify 
the pictures which ought to figure in German museums, 
proclaimed the right to take possession of such articles 
and bring them to Germany. 



196 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

It is true that in museums the greater part of the 
exhibits had been put in a place of safety. Others 
were surprised and looted. This was the case with the 
Oberot Museum at Brussels. The following is the 
account of the incident given by Mme. Latour, wife 
of the Director of the Museum. 

" All the keepers had gone to the battlefield, and 
my husband and I were alone. Seeing that they were 
going to beat in the door, my husband decided to open 
it for them. First of all he had taken the precaution 
to lock the door into the galleries. 

" Without paying the slightest attention to him, the 
officers immediately went to that in which priceless 
enamels of the twelfth century and magnificent jewels 
had usually been exhibited. Not being able to get 
in, they condescended to ask for the key. My husband 
refused. They took hold of him and forcibly deprived 
him of the bunch which he had in his pocket. 

" Once inside, when they noticed that certain 
articles which they doubtless coveted had disappeared, 
they waxed furious. This, however, did not prevent 
their taking whatever they liked from the glass cases, 
some pictures, and some porcelain specimens, which 
they then compelled me to pack up for them. 

*' Moreover, they did not attempt to conceal the 
fact that what they were stealing would later on adorn 
their own houses. 

" * That would suit very well in my drawing-room, 
and this in my wife's bedroom,' said one. ' Martha 
asked me to bring her some real Brussels lace,' replied 
the other, * but I shall bring her this exquisite 
miniature. She will be dehghted. . . .' 

" Every day for more than a fortnight they came 
back like that, sometimes alone, sometimes accom- 
panied by other officers or soldiers, and every time 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 197 

they brought away something from the museum. 
They took away not less than fifty pictures. 

" My husband once managed to get into conversation 
with one of the secretaries of the Mihtary Governor of 
Brussels, and complained bitterly of the scandalous 
thefts committed every day at the museum. But this 
German official refused to hsten to the description 
which M. Latour gave him of the officers and their 
uniforms. At last he brought him to the door with 
these words, * Woe to the vanquished \ ' " 

The Germans took the furniture of the Government 
offices, and also all the stage properties of the Park 
Royal Theatre, the stage of which was converted into 
a motor garage. 

They took away the following articles from the 
chateau at Compiegne — 

Sixteen large pieces, eight in coral and eight in 
lava, which belonged to Napoleon I's chessboard; a 
chased and gilt bronze figure of Atalanta above a 
clock; a chased and gilt bronze socket, part of a 
candelabrum on Sevres porcelain ; a chased gold and 
steel case containing a poniard, knife and fork, part of 
a collection of arms ; a poniard ; a Turkish dagger • 
a chased silvered case, adorned with precious stones, 
containing a hunting dagger, knife and fork; two 
chased stilettoes; three poniards with hollow gilt 
blades, and three chased and gilt bronze candle- 
sticks, all from the same collection. 

Let us add that during the last two days of the 
occupation three train wagons, which contained, it 
was said, officers' baggage, had been shunted into 
the principal courtyard of the palace. The truth is 
that these three wagons served merely to load and 
to carry away valuable articles taken by the soldiers 
and non-commissioned officers from the houses of 



igS SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

Compiegne. The house of M. Orsetti, in front of the 
palace, was completely looted in this way. 

Looting of Chateaux 

All the fine old chateaux of the Champagne and Marne 
region, and all the rich estates and villas situate in 
that part of Lorraine which has been invaded, were 
also pillaged and sacked. The ironwork of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth century, the Gothic wains- 
coting, the antique furniture, were taken away. 
Everything which was supposed to have any value — 
jewels, silver, ohjets d'art, books — was stolen. 

At the Moulinot Priory, the property of M. de 
Chauffault, and at Raon-l'Etape, where the ggth 
infantry regiment (to which Renter and Forstner, 
heroes of the celebrated incidents of Saverne, be- 
longed), the 50th line regiment and the Baden reservists 
carried out a general pillage, and took away furniture, 
pianos, libraries, amateur collections, clocks, pictures, 
and brought them to the railway station, where a train 
under full steam was ready to take them to Germany. 
It was Prussian and Baden officers who, in the majority 
of cases, accompanied by their wives, chose, took, stole 
or destroyed, defiled or smashed everything, according 
as the article which they were examining could be 
removed or not. 

Near the town of Meaux and some hundreds of metres 
from the village of Congis is the chateau of Gne. At 
the beginning of the battle of the Marne the German 
general staff was installed there. Of this chateau 
there remained, after the vandals had passed by, only 
the ruins. The chests-of-drawers were broken, the 
beautiful tapestries defiled, the armchairs smashed 
to pieces, the costly pictures slashed, even the linen 
of the chateau stolen. When the allied troops forced 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 199 

the Germans back and reoccupied it, only wounded 
were found in it, who, before the arrival of the con- 
querors, had taken care to ransack the whole house and 
to finish the work of destruction which had been begun. 

We repeat that these outrages were the work of 
officers no less than of soldiers. And it was a captain 
who led the Germans at Creil when they burst into the 
houses of rich owners, broke the doors and windows, 
and gave themselves up to pillage. 

The same kinds of acts were also committed by the 
Germans in Alsace. The case of Cemay, where the 
Germans drove out the inhabitants in the month of 
January, is an example. All these people had to leave 
the town at three o'clock in the morning. A manu- 
facturer of the country who returned to his villa at 
7.15, found a detachment of German soldiers engaged 
in taking down the pictures from the walls and packing 
up articles which they could not carry. When he 
expressed his surprise at seeing them appropriating 
his property, the soldiers replied that they were acting 
under the orders of their superiors. 

Robbing the Dead and Wounded 

The universally admitted obHgation not to plunder 
an enemy who has fallen on the field of battle has 
been, like so many others, repudiated by the Germans. 
The personal belongings, silver, jewels, etc., of the dead 
and wounded have been not merely coveted, but 
actually plundered by them. Examples of this in- 
famous conduct were numerous, chiefly on the battle- 
fields of France. 

On the 8th August, on the spot where a small 
cavalry engagement had taken place, at Beuveille 
(in Champagne), a French lieutenant of dragoons, who 
was wounded and lying unconscious on the ground. 



200 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

was robbed (for his own account of the incident see 
the Matin of the 22nd August, 1914) of a sum of 
250 francs in gold by the leader of a German platoon, 
M. de Schaffenberg, of the Treves light infantry. 
His orderly, a dragoon, also wounded, lying a few paces 
away from the French lieutenant, was robbed of some 
money that he had by the same German officer. A 
French hussar who was attended by Dr. Weiss at the 
Nancy hospital told this doctor that he had broken 
his leg by falling from his horse, and that, as he was 
lying under his mount, he was attacked by Uhlans, who 
robbed him of his watch and chain. 

Similar cases were so frequent that the French 
troops scarcely wondered when they captured, near 
Senlis, a horseman of the German imperial guard, 
accompanied by three German subjects who spoke 
French very well, and as they knew the district served 
him as guide and accomplices in the work of brigandage 
in which he engaged. The numerous articles which 
they found in the pockets of these wretches left no 
doubt on this point : they were, therefore, brought 
before a court-martial at the same time as several other 
German prisoners who had been guilty of similar thefts ; 
in particular, a Death's-head hussar, who had been 
found in possession of a roll of bills stolen in Belgium, 
a considerable sum of French gold, and many jewels. 

Enormous Taxes levied by the Germans 

The taxes levied by the Germans in several towns of 
Belgium and France were represented by the invaders 
as either fines or war contributions. If, however, we 
consider them a little more closely, we shall not be 
able to see anything in them but theft, admitted and 
official. It is a consequence and an extension of 
thefts committed on the field of battle. That such 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 201 

levies should be permitted, they must be represented 
as expenses arising out of invasion. It is within such 
limits only that international law recognises war 
levies. Such as it is, we have no doubt that this limit is 
stretched to some extent. Collective fines imposed for 
damage sustained by an invading army are manifestly 
a mockery. No less ridiculous is the claim to make up 
for the general expenses of war by levies of this kind. 

The Germans had no hesitation in using these two 
pretexts as an excuse. Moreover, it is plain that 
in their view a war tax would come under the head of 
the system in reliance on which war makes everything 
permissible. In several places these levies were, 
practically speaking, represented as a ransom for in- 
vaded towns. It seemed that these towns had to pay 
for the favour done them of not being handed over 
to pillage. If they came and refused the money, 
because they did not know where to find it, at once 
the German commandant threatened them with fire, 
devastation and pillage. These levies, therefore, were 
reckoned in the category of methods of terrorisation. 
Their aim was to make the inhabitants desire peace 
by multiplying their sufferings. 

As for openly admitted reasons, the following are 
taken from an article in the Kolnische Zeitung, which 
dealt with the levy imposed on Belgium and the city 
of Brussels and, on the other hand, from a proclama- 
tion of Lieutenant-general Nieber, with regard to a 
tax levied on the town of Wavre. 

" The war tribute imposed on Belgium," wrote the 
Kolnische Zeitung, *' was a punishment for ill-treatment 
of the Germans in Belgium. We are now at Brussels, 
where not more than a fortnight ago some Germans, 
quietly going on with their work in a foreign country, 
were abandoned to the cruelty of the mob. What 



202 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

happened then will be a perpetual stain on the honour 
of the Belgian people. 

" We have asked ourselves what might be demanded 
as reasonable compensation for the inhuman treatment 
inflicted on our compatriots, and it appears it is im- 
possible, save by legal means, to punish those who 
have committed such acts. 

" But another measure is possible and recognised 
by international law, and that is why we have imposed 
a very high war tax on the town of Brussels. 

" This town must hear the whole weight of the legally 
recognised expenses of war, to wit : the quartering of 
the troops, and the supply of all the provisions needed 
by our army up to the point when all the resources of 
the town are exhausted, and its inhabitants have begun 
to realise individually and as a whole that the baiting 
of defenceless women is not at all the same thing as 
the occupation of their houses by the enemy. What- 
ever it be, the punishment inflicted on the Belgians 
for the offences of which they have been guilty will 
be inflicted with all the rigour permitted by the law." 

As regards the tax levied on the town of Wavre, 
Lieutenant-general Nieber writes on the 27th August, 
in a letter to the mayor — 

" On the 22nd August, 1914, General von Biilow, 
in command of the second army, imposed on the town 
of Wavre a war-levy of 3,000,000 francs, payable on 
the 1st September, as punishment for a surprise attack 
on the German troops, conduct for which no name is too 
had, and which was contrary to international law and 
the usages of war. 

" The general in command of the second army has 
just instructed the general in charge of the depot of 
the second army to collect the aforesaid levy without 
delay, which the town must pay for its conduct. 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 203 

" I command and instruct you to hand over to the 
bearer of the present note the first two instalments, 
being 2,000,000 francs in gold. I require you also to 
give the bearer a letter, duly sealed with the town seal, 
declaring that the balance of 1,000,000 francs will be 
paid without fail on the ist September. I call the 
attention of the town to the fact that it will under no 
circumstances be able to count upon any extension 
of time, for the civil population has put itself outside 
the pale of international law by firing on the German 
soldiers. The town of Wavre will be fired and destroyed 
if payment be not made in good time, without respect 
of persons; the innocent will suffer with the guilty.** 

German Pleas in Defence, and their Validity 
It is hardly necessary to say that the principle of 
holding towns to ransom is not admitted by any one 
to-day. BluntschK, the German jurist, writes on this 
head a phrase which sounds ironical : " War has 
become civihsed. ... No one has any longer the right 
to pillage, and still less the right to destroy, without 
military necessity ; therefore there can no longer he any 
question of buying off this pretended right." On the 
other hand, the policy of terrorisation is not admitted. 
It is, however, very remarkable that the Kolnische 
Zeitung apparently caves in to it by commenting on 
the gravity of the situation in which the Belgians 
were, owing to (i) the fact " that their houses had been 
occupied by the enemy," and (2) the exhaustion of 
" the whole resources of the town." 

Article 50 of the Hague Regulations stipulates, in 
fact, that no collective punishment, pecuniary or 
otherwise, can be enacted against the civil population 
by reason of individual acts for which they could not 
collectively be held responsible. 



204 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

German generals or publicists, therefore, have no 
authority to set up a system of collective indemnity, 
monetary or other, in punishment of individual acts, 
and still less to impose these indemnities under threat 
of pillaging and burning towns. 

As for the claim to recover the costs and expenses of 
war by a tax levied on the inhabitants of the invaded 
territory, the Kdlnische Zeitung is shamelessly lying 
when it says that such a claim is ** recognised by 
international law/' Not a single authority in this 
sense can be quoted ; on the contrary, there are express 
statements of the very opposite. The well-known 
Argentine writer, Calvo, declares that such a theory 
involves an abuse of force, and is "in flagrant contra- 
diction to the principle which enacts that war is waged 
against a state, and not against individuals taken separ- 
ately.' ' It was in conformity with this principle that the 
Germans themselves, in 1870, refused to admit that the 
amount of the monetary contributions previously levied 
in France (thirty-nine million francs) could be deducted 
from the five milliards imposed on France by the Treaty 
of Frankfurt, a confirmation as clear as it is unexpected 
of the principle which they are violating to-day. 

The Chief Examples in Belgium of this Breach 
OF International Law 

The Germans imposed on the town of Liege a pay- 
ment of ten million francs, and demanded fifty millions 
from the province. The provinces of Brabant and 
Brussels were assessed at 50 and 450 million francs 
respectively, "as a war contribution." Moreover, 
it was declared in the note signed in the name of 
General Amim by Captain Kriegsheim, of the general 
staff of the 4th army corps in presence of M. Max, 
Mayor of Brussels. 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 205 

At Lou vain, the German authorities, represented by 
the commandant, Manteuffel, demanded a payment of 
100,000 francs " as a war indemnity " ; after negotia- 
tion they reduced the amount to 3000 francs. At 
Toumai on the 25th August an officer entered, revolver 
in hand, into the hall where the mayor and the members 
of the municipal council were in conference, and, on 
the plea that ** civilians had fired on German soldiers," 
declared, in spite of the mayor's protests, that if " two 
million francs were not sent him by 8 p.m. on the same day, 
the town would he bombarded.'* The sum was paid, but 
this did not preventthe Germans from taking as hostages 
the mayor, his deputies, and the bishop, who were sent 
to Ath and Brussels, where their liberty was restored 
on presentation of the receipt for two million francs. 

Antwerp fell on the 9th October. The town was 
ordered to pay a war contribution which amounted to 
the grotesque sum of half a milliard of marks (625 
million francs). 

From the town of Wavre the Germans demanded, 
under the conditions mentioned in the letter of 
Lieutenant-general Nieber, previously quoted, a sum 
of three milUons, which raised the total of the levies 
imposed by the Germans in Belgium to 1,180,000,000 
francs. By distributing this amount equally over 
the Belgian population we find that each inhabitant 
of this country, ravaged, burnt, pillaged, and, in short, 
stripped of all its resources, was mulcted in an average 
payment of 158 francs. 

This colossal theft, though it was ordered, could 
not be carried out so easily. The Mayor of Brussels 
paid a first instalment of five millions of the fifty 
millions imposed on the town of Brussels, and covered 
another fifteen millions by municipal bonds. But 
when, in the closing days of September, the military 



206 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFt'' 



yJ^ 



governor of Belgium, Marshal von der Goltz, who had 
been appointed in the meantime, demanded payment 
of the outstanding balance of thirty millions, M. Max 
informed the German authorities that the public 
treasury had been transferred to Antwerp, and forbade 
the banks to pay the sum demanded. The mayor was 
not at all to blame for this, as the German authorities 
had decided, on the pretext that payment was late, 
that requisitions would not be paid for. The Germans 
regarded the refusal of M. Max as a failure to keep 
engagements made, and the arrest of the mayor took 
place in violation of every principle of international law. 

The Kolnische Zeitung of the 30th September made 
it appear that the attitude of M. Max was explained 
by the latter's confidence that the Germans would soon 
be defeated; moreover, this same paper postdated 
the German authorities' decision not to pay for requisi- 
tions in order to palm it off as a reply to M. Max's 
refusal. Thus, open prevarication was added to 
extortion and violence. 

None the less, all these difficulties had the effect o 
inducing the German Government to modify their 
method of demanding payment. A monthly war tax 
of forty million francs was substituted for all the levies 
in the occupied area. 

Examples of the same Breach of Law in France 

The following is the notice which informed the 
inhabitants of Luneville of the tax in which they had 
been mulcted — 

*' On the 25th August, 1914 " (runs the notice), " the 
inhabitants of Lvmeville made an attack by ambuscade 
on German columns and trains. On the same day 
the inhabitants fired on medical sections wearing the 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 207 

Red Cross. Moreover, they fired on German wounded, 
and on the mihtary hospital, which included a German 
ambulance. On account of these hostile acts a contribu- 
tion of 650,000 francs is levied on the Commune of 
Luneville. The mayor was ordered to pay this sum 
in gold (and in silver up to 50,000 francs) on the 6th 
September at 9 a.m., into the hands of the representa- 
tive of the German military authority. Any objection 
will be considered null and void. No delay will be 
allowed. If the commune does not punctually carry 
out the order to pay the sum of 650,000 francs all the 
property that can be requisitioned will be seized. In 
case of non-payment, a house-to-house investigation will 
be made and all the inhabitants will be searched. Who- 
ever knowingly conceals money, or tries to secure his 
property from being seized by the military authority, 
or who tries to leave the town, will be shot. The mayor 
and hostages taken by the military authority will be 
held responsible for the exact carrying out of the orders 
given herewith. The mayor's staff are ordered to make 
known these instructions at once to the Commune. 
" Commandant-in-Chief von Fosbender. 
" Henamenil, 3rd September, 1914." 

" A perusal of this ineffable document," says the 
Report of the French Commission, " entitles one to 
ask whether the arson and murder committed at 
Luneville on the 25th and 26th August by an army 
which was not acting under the excitement of battle, and 
which had refrained from killing during the previous 
days, were not deliberately ordered for the purpose of 
adding verisimilitude to an allegation which was to 
serve as a pretext for the demand for an indemnity." 

The town of Lille was mulcted in a contribution 
of ten millions; Roubaix and Tourcoing in ten 



2o8 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT" 

millions ; Armentieres in half a million ; Valenciennes 
in three milHons. The excuse given by the Germans, 
so far as Valenciennes was concerned, was that a 
song, entitled " William's Last Will and Testament," 
which was considered to be disrespectful to the Kaiser, 
had been seized in the town. This justified a fine 
of two millions. The third million was imposed 
because the town had not supplied the quantity of 
flour demanded by the German troops. The threat 
was made that, if the money was not paid, the mayor, 
M. Tanchon, would be shot. 

The province of Marne was mulcted in a fine of 
thirty millions, twenty-two of which were for the 
town of Reims and eight for Chalons-sur-Marne. The 
German commissary-general agreed to accept from 
Chalons 500,000 francs merely as an instalment. The 
remainder had not to be paid, as the Prince of Saxony 
and his headquarters staff left Chalons three days 
afterwards, followed two days subsequently by all the 
German troops who were fleeing before the French. 

Epernay had to pay 175,000 francs. But the town 
came by its money again, thanks to a French surgeon. 
Dr. Veron, the only one available in this district, who 
demanded for the treatment he had given a German 
prince the sum which the town had paid. 

In Serbia, the Austrian troops did the same at 
Losnitza, where a contribution of 100,000 dinars had to 
be paid to avert destruction by fire. The payment of the 
money, however, did not prevent hostages being taken 
away, the town destroyed, and nineteen peasants shot. 

Requisitions 
In recognition of the necessities of troops in the 
field, the right of requisition is allowed, but it must, 
as far as possible, be exercised with moderation. 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 209 

Supplies must be paid for in ready money, or else must 
be acknowledged by receipts, and in any case payment 
must take place as soon as possible. The German 
publicist, Bluntschli, even imposes on the occup5dng 
troops the obligation to pay on delivery for supplies 
for which demand is made. 

In violation of this established principle, the Germans 
have taken supplies without payment not only in 
Belgium, but also in France. As they were taking 
without payment their demands were unmeasured. 
On several occasions the amount of their demands 
was simply preposterous. Being thus forced to 
denude themselves far beyond their means, the in- 
habitants were a prey to famine, whilst the German 
troops were gorging themselves, and even allowing 
what they had taken to be lost and go bad. Under 
such conditions the inhabitants found they were 
compelled to take to flight. 

At Brussels, the requisition of large quantities of 
provisions was ordered. These provisions had to be 
dehvered on the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd August, 
by virtue of a note sent by Captain Kriegscheim, 
acting in the name of General Sixtus Amim, in com- 
mand of the 4th army corps, in presence of the mayor. 
If these deliveries did not t^ake place by certain fixed 
times the town would be obliged to pay double the 
amount, based on the market price. These large 
quantities of provisions could not be used. Although 
they had been scraped together by so painful efforts 
they were simply squandered. Four thousand kilos 
of meat had to be thrown out, as well as piles of rolls 
of butter, and quantities of coffee and sugar, which 
the troops were unable to consume. 

It appears that in several cases these requisitions 
were merely made as an excuse for pillage. In this 



210 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

way the works at Herstal, near Liege, were ordered 
by the German headquarters staff to dehver 50,000 
rifles and three milhon cartridges. Of course the 
manager of the works refused. Then the German 
headquarters staff assembled again the board of 
administration of the company. There was a fresh 
refusal, and no less energetic, to do what the enemy 
demanded. The board urged the authority of the 
clauses of the Hague Convention. Consequently, and in 
revenge for this opposition, the German headquarters 
staff ordered that the armouries should be pillaged. 

At Amiens, as the town was unable to supply the 
enormous quantity of provisions demanded by the 
Germans, twelve inhabitants were taken as hostages, 
and transferred to Clermont. There they had to 
appear before a sort of court-martial, which condemned 
them to pay 20,000 francs. This sum was paid by 
the municipality. 

At Epernay, 50,000 bottles of wine were requisitioned 
to enable the German soldiers to get tipsy. At Ant- 
werp, requisitions were made of provisions which were 
intended to be consumed on the spot. These pro- 
visions were sent by rail to an unknown destination. 

At Lille, in the month of November, the mayor was 
obliged to deliver 1,500,000 francs' worth of food 
produce. On the 25th of the same month General 
Heindrich warned him by official letter that Germany 
could no longer meet the needs of the population, and 
that if " England could not make up her mind to allow 
provisions from over seas to come in for the support 
of the occupied provinces of France, it would be 
chiefly the French population who would have to 
bear the result of this state of things." The amount 
of requisitions of food produce imposed on Lille was 
so great, according to the declaration of the mayor 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 211 

of Lille, dated 27th November, 1914, addressed to 
General Heindrich, that " if the situation continues, the 
town would suffer an absolute famine, which would 
affect thousands of families, composed mainly of 
women and children." 

General Heindrich also made some show of remedy- 
ing this state of affairs by advising the mayor of Lille 
to ask for the assistance of the Swiss Government. 
The mayor of Lille attempted this application on the 
28th November, but the German authorities took 
care not to transmit it (see the Temps of the 20th 
December) . 

The fact that the German requisitions amounted to 
pillage was recognised by the American Commission of 
Relief for Belgium, which gratuitously distributed ten 
to twelve million francs' worth of provisions a month. 

On the advice of Sir Edward Grey, Mr. Hoover, 
President of this Commission, asked the German 
Government to abstain from requisitioning provisions 
of any kind, as otherwise American subscriptions 
would have the effect of indirectly contributing to 
the support of the German army, which would take 
pains to pillage officially the provisions sent for poor 
Belgians. The German Government replied that it 
would consent to refrain from requisitioning provisions 
to the east of Ghent. This was as much as to confess 
that the German military authorities had taken away 
from the inhabitants of Belgium provisions of which 
they stood in need. 

Other Examples of Official Pillage 

Examples of official pillage of every kind practised 

by Germany are to be had in abundance. Sometimes 

it was the military authorities who shamelessly seized 

the deposits in private banks. This was shown to 

p 2 



212 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

have taken place at Liege, Dinant, and Lou vain, 
where quite a large sum of money was taken from the 
Bank de la Dyle and 12,000 francs from the Banque 
Populaire. At Lille the savings bank was robbed. 
Sometimes pillage took the form of fining newspapers. 
In this way the Croix du Nord had to pay 150,000 
francs for having described the German army in one 
of its articles as " a flood of Teutons." 

At Chalons-sur-Marne, the German commandant 
asked M. Serves, deputy mayor, " to have all the 
shops in the town opened, so that the soldiers might 
buy what they needed." When M. Serves remarked 
that it would be well that sentries should be stationed 
before the shops, the German officer replied that it 
was for the police of the town to keep order. M. 
Serves replied that there were no longer any police. 
Then the commandant came in in a towering rage 
and shouted : " There should have been. It is not 
fair that people who remain in the town should alone 
have to bear the burden. Those who have fled 
must bear their part. Consequently our soldiers 
will be instructed to break open the doors of shops 
and take what they want." And pillage, officially 
ordered, began. To mitigate the odium of it General 
Seydewitz warned the town that he was reviving the 
security of 500,000 francs, which had been demanded 
on the first day of occupation as a guarantee for the 
requisitions. But this half-million was taken again 
as an instalment of the monetary contribution levied 
on the town. 

The Chapter of German Admissions 

As far as concerns pillage carried on by way of 
requisitions we have the evidence of proclamations, 
letters, and other official communications issued by 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 213 

the German authorities. In no other documents 
could the chapter of admissions be so exphcit. 

As for theft and pillage committed by soldiers or 
by officers in their private capacity, the following 
is evidence supplied by Germans themselves. 

A German reservist who died in France, privat- 
docent of a university, married, and father of a family, 
carefully notes in his pocket-book, which was found 
by the French, the parcel he sent to his wife of jewels 
which he found in an empty house. Another day he 
confesses he stole a microscope. "The Frenchman" 
(he wrote) " bought it in Germany, and I took it back 
again." 

Another German soldier, Gaston Klein (ist Land- 
sturm company), describes the sack of Louvain in the 
following terms : "At first only a few troops went 
back to the town, but afterwards the battalion marched 
into the town in close ranks to break into the first 
houses to plunder — I beg pardon, to requisition — 
wine and other things as well. Like a company 
which had been disbanded, every one went where he 
pleased. The officers went on in front and set us a 
good example. One night in barracks, many men 
drunk, and there the story ends. This day filled me 
with a disgust which I could not describe." 

The Saxon officer of the 178th regiment, who 
supplied us with so much precious evidence about 
German crimes, writes in his pocket-book : " Herpigny- 
Baclan (17th August). I visited the little chateau, 
which belongs to a secretary of the King of the Belgians. 
Our men behaved like Vandals : first they ransacked 
the cellar, then they burst into the rooms and threw 
everything upside down : attempts were even made 
to burst open the safes; our men carried off heaps 
of useless things for the mere pleasure of marauding." 



214 SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE AND THEFT 

" At Rethel," continued the same officer, " the 
interior of the house is charming. The furniture 
was magnificent. Now everything is in pieces. Vandals 
could not have done more damage. The leaders of the 
columns were responsible — they could have prevented 
pillage and destruction. The damage may he reckoned 
in millions. Safes were hurst open. In an attorney's 
house a collection of old pottery and oriental objets 
d'art was hroken into a thousand pieces." 

In spite of protests made to the German troops 
and their leaders, the Saxon officer at length suc- 
cumbed to the contagion and followed their example. 
" As for myself," he naively writes, " I could not help 
being carried away to this side and that by little 
souvenirs. I found a magnificent waterproof cloak 
and a photographer's apparatus which I am going 
to give to Fehx." 

" In a village near Blamont," writes another soldier, 
Paul Spielmann, ist company, ist Infantry Brigade of 
Guards, " everything was given up to pillage." . . . 

Private Handschuhmacher (nth Battahon reserve 
light infantry) also writes : " 8th August, 1914, Gouvy 
(Belgium). The Belgians having fired on the German 
soldiers, we at once began to pillage the goods station. 
Some cash-boxes, eggs, shirts, and everything which 
could be eaten was taken away. The safe was gutted 
and the gold distributed amongst the men. As for 
bank-bills they were torn up." 

"The enemy," wrote another non-commissioned 
officer (Hermann Levith, of the i6oth regiment of in- 
fantry 7th corps), " occupied the village of Bievre and 
the outer-fringe of the wood in the rear. The third 
company advanced as a first line. We took the village, 
then pillaged almost all the houses." 



ROBBING THE WOUNDED AND DEAD 215 

** The second battalion," wrote a third (Schiller of the 
133rd infantry, 19th corps) " entered into the village 
of Haybes (Ardennes), ransacked the houses and pillaged 
them.** . . . 

One thing which must be remembered as a feature 
of German character is that German doctors took 
part in pillage. This is what we learn from a letter 
of Private Jean Thode (4th reserve regiment : " Brussels, 
5. 10. 14). A motor came up to the hospital and 
brought some war booty : a piano, two sewing- 
machines, many albums, and all sorts of other things." 
Some admissions are couched in the form of indigna- 
tion. " They do not behave like soldiers," writes a 
soldier of the 65th Landwehr infantry, " but hke 
highway robbers, bandits, and brigands, and they are 
a disgrace to our regiment and to our army." " No 
discipline," writes another, (a lieutenant of the 77th 
reserve infantry) ; " the pioneers are not much good ; 
as for the artillery they are a hand of robbers." 

But if this particular lieutenant blames the conduct 
of his men, others, on the contrary, deliberately order 
them to pillage. Like the soldier who writes at Lou vain 
that the officers set a good example, four other German 
soldiers, named Schrick and Weber (of the 39th Prus- 
sian infantry), Waberzech (of the 35th Brandenburg), 
and Brugmann (of the 15th Mecklenburg hussars), on 
whom were found a quantity of French paper money, 
watches and jewels, all taken from houses in SenHs 
and Chantilly, confessed before the French court- 
martial that it was their officers who should have 
been blamed. " If I had not taken the jewels " (said 
one of them) " one of my officers would have taken 
them." ... " We got from our leaders " (the others 
declared) " the order to pillage the houses." 



CHAPTER XVI 

DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY. CONCLUSION 

At this point we shall give our conclusions. We 
think it necessary to establish the degrees of responsi- 
bility for the above attested facts : and the reader 
will think it right for us to add some precise mention 
of the authors of the facts. The omission of such a 
chapter would have the effect of helping to keep our 
indignation in the air, and thus leaving for objects 
of the blame contained in it only some multitudes of 
persons, amongst whom our indictment would be 
diluted and dispersed. Not that we desire to take 
away from the German people as such the responsibility 
which attaches to them, but we desire to add some 
names thereto. 

The first responsible party whom we ^lust mention 
is the German nation, and expHcitly the German 
army judged by its private soldiers. It is upon the 
German private soldier, indisputably, that the shame 
of what we have just read recoils. It was the private 
soldiers who committed the greater part of the crimes 
which we have noticed : they were the principal 
authors of these crimes. But it must be added that 
the leaders consistently encouraged them. In several 
instances they acted on exphcit instructions from 
officers, and even from generals. 

The Responsibility of the Leaders 

At the beginning of this book we noted the fatal 
teachings of the most famous mihtary writers of 

3l5 



CONCLUSION 217 

Germany, writers who formed the war-school in which 
was developed the military spirit of the officers of 1914. 
These teachings were theories of war carried on in 
defiance of international law. The putting to death 
of captured soldiers and defenceless civilians is' latent 
in such doctrines. 

If, then, we wish to sum up in a word the system 
practised by German officers, during the course of 
a war which is still in progress, we may describe it 
as the system of terrorising the enemy on the plea of 
military necessity. 

German officers showed themselves liberal in their 
estimate of the urgency, extent, and oftener still of 
the bare existence of such necessity. Therein we 
find the source of so many cowardly cruelties and 
crimes. " War ! it is war," they say. As the French 
Commission of Inquiry observes, for all their exactions, 
even for all their crimes, there was no redress ; and if 
any unfortunate dared to beg an officer to deign to 
intervene and spare his life, or protect his property, 
he received no other reply, if he was not met with 
threats, than this invariable formula, accompanied 
by a smile and ascribing to the inevitable disasters 
of war the most cruel atrocities. 

The German officer, therefore, has made himself 
responsible for the cruelties that have been committed : 
(i) either by ordering them or suggesting them to 
his subalterns or his men ; (2) or by himself performing 
them : (3) or, finally, by tolerating them when they 
were committed under his eyes, or by not punishing 
the guilty when he was informed about their crime. 
By acting in one of these three ways the German 
officer has justified the Enghsh writer who uttered 
the following judgment of the conduct of the Germans 
in 1870 ; " The world at j^ least is indebted to the 



2i8 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

Germans for having thrown Hght upon war ... in 
which the soldier, the thief and the assassin can hardly 
be distinguished " (J. A. Farrer, Military Manners and 
Customs," chap, iv., p. 119). It is true, and we cannot 
avoid saying so, that in the present war the German 
officer has shown an essentially criminal mind. And 
we now make this accusation, which we have established 
by facts; our investigations, and the profound study 
which we have made of the subject, allow us com- 
pletely to justify the declaration of the French Com- 
mission of Inquiry, " the higher command, up to its 
most exalted personalities, will bear before the world 
the crushing responsibility of crimes committed by 
the German army." 

The Names of the Officers 

We shall mention here the names of the officers in 
question. But we must, above all, begin with the 
princes in whose name so many outrages have been 
committed. 

1. The Emperor William II. In a speech addressed 
to his troops, on the eve of the battle of the Vistula, 
the Emperor William himself uttered these words, 
which form as it were the savage programme of all 
the atrocities that have been committed : " Woe to 
the conquered. The conqueror knows no mercy." 

2. The Emperor Franz Joseph. In an Imperial 
order, which includes instructions to the Austrian 
soldiers in the war against the Serbs, the Emperor 
Franz Joseph depicts the latter as " moved by a 
savage hatred against the Austrians. They deserve," 
(he said) " no consideration either of humanity or of 
chilvalry." By the terms of this order all francs- 
tireurs who were captured were to be put to death. 



CONCLUSION 219 

3. Prince Eitel-Frederic, son of the Emperor of 
Germany. The Prince stayed for eight days in a 
chateau near Liege. The owner was present. Under 
the eyes of his hosts the Prince had all the dresses 
packed up which he found in the chests of the mistress 
of the house and her daughters. 

4. The Duke of Brunswick. The Prince took part 
in the pillage of the same chateau, near Liege. 

5. Marshal von Hindenhurg, commander-in-chief of 
the Imperial troops in East Prussia. This marshal 
ordered that the bread found in this province, which 
had been soaked with petrol, should serve as food 
for Russian prisoners. 

6. Marshal von der Goltz, military governor of 
Belgium. In a notice signed by him and posted 
up on the 5th October, 1914, at Brussels, the marshal 
decreed the penalty of death against the inhabitants, 
whether guilty or not, in places near which the tele- 
graph wires had been cut or the railway destroyed. 

7. General von Billow, commander-in-chief of the 
Second German army. This general ordered the 
first bombardment of Reims : on the 22nd August, 
after the sack of Ardennes, he had the following 
notice posted up : "It was with my consent that 
the general-in- chief had the whole locality burnt and 
that about a hundred persons were shot." On the 
25th August, at Namur, another proclamation from 
his hand read as follows : " Belgian and French 
soldiers must be given up as prisoners of war before 
four o'clock, before the prison. Citizens who do not 
obey will be sentenced to forced labour for life in 
Germany. A strict inspection of houses will begin at 
four o'clock. Every soldier found will he immediately 
shot. Arms, powder, dynamite, must be given up 
at four o'clock. The penalty for default will he a 



220 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

fusillade. All the streets will be occupied by a German 
guard, who will take ten hostages in every street. // 
any outbreak takes place in the street, the ten hostages 
will he shot. 

8. The Austrian General Horschstein, commander 
of the 6th army corps operating against the Serbians. 
He is the author of the following order, issued on the 
14th August at Rouma : " Seeing the hostile attitude 
of the inhabitants of Klenak and Chabatz, we must, 
in all Serbian localities which have either been occupied 
or will be occupied, take hostages who will be kept 
close to our troops. In cases where the inhabitants 
commit any offence, or make any attack, or are guilty 
of any treachery, the hostages will immediately be put 
to death and the locality ravaged by fire. The head- 
quarters staff alone has the right to fire any locality 
situate in our territory. This order will be published 
by the civil authorities. 

9. General Heeringen, commander of the German 
army of Champagne. He continued the bombardment 
of Reims, and was the cause of the destruction of the 
cathedral. 

10. General Klauss, was the cause of the butcheries 
at Gerbeviller and Traimbois. 

11. General Forbender, the author of the monstrous 
and inhuman proclamation by which Luneville found 
itself mulcted in taxes. 

12 and 13. General Durach and the Prince of 
Wittenstein, commanders of the Wurtemburg troops 
and Uhlans during the burning of Clermont in Argonne. 

14. The Baden General Fabricius. He emptied the 
cellars of Baccarat. 

15. General de Seydewitz. He was present, and did 
not interfere to prevent it, at the pillage of Chalons- 
sur-Marne, ordered by one of his subalterns. 



CONCLUSION 221 

i6. General Heindrich, commander of the German 
troops at Lille, who, by exorbitant requisitions, reduced 
the population of this town to starvation, and made 
away with the appeal for help which the mayor of 
Lille, on his own advice, had addressed to the President 
of the Swiss Republic. 

17. General Stenger, commander of a brigade in 
France, who issued the well-known order of the day 
giving instructions to kill the wounded and to execute 
prisoners of war. 

18. Lieutenant-general Nisher, He demanded of 
the little town of Wavre the exorbitant war-contri- 
bution of 3,000,000 francs, which General Biilow 
had imposed. " The town of Wavre will be burnt 
and destroyed if payment is not made in good time, 
without respect of persons — the innocent will suffer 
with the guilty." 

19. General Sixtus of Arnim, commander of the 
4th German army corps, who mulcted the town of 
Brussels and the province of Brabant in the monstrous 
contribution of 500,000,000 francs. 

20. General von Bissing, commander of the 7th 
German army corps, who, in a proclamation to his 
troops in Belgium, told them that when " civilians take 
upon them to fire on us, the innocent must suffer with 
the guilty"; that "the German authorities have on 
several occasions in their instructions to the troops 

, said that human life must not he spared in repressing 
such acts " ; that " it is doubtless regrettable that houses, 
flourishing villages, and even whole towns should 
be destroyed, but this must not cause us to be carried 
away by feelings of misplaced pity. All that is not 
worth the life of a single German soldier." 

21. General de Doehm, commander of the 9th 
German army corps. When an American journalist 



222 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

of The World and Mr. Gibson, secretary of the United 
States Embassy at Brussels, told him they had seen 
the bodies of mutilated women and children at Louvain, 
this general replied that such incidents were " inevitable 
in street fighting." The American journahst remarked 
that a woman's body had the feet and hands cut off ; 
that of an old man showed twenty-two bayonet 
thrusts in the face ; that an old man's body had been 
found hanging by his hands to the beams of his house, 
and that he had been burnt alive by lighting a fire 
underneath him. All that General de Doehm could 
say was that he was not responsible. 

22. Baron Merbach, who, with Prince Eitel and 
the Duke of Brunswick, took part in looting a chateau 
near Liege. 

23. The Duke of Gronau. After the chateau of 
Villers, Notre Dame, in Belgium, had been occupied 
by his headquarters he himself caused the following 
to be taken and sent to Germany : 146 sets of cutlery, 
236 silver-gilt spoons, 3 gold watches, 9 savings-bank 
deposit books, 1500 bottles of wine, 62 hens, 32 
ducks, evening clothes, works of art, and a quantity 
of baby linen. 

24 and 25. Count Zichy and Baron Sardas, who 
presided over the pillage from the estate, chateau, and 
farm of M. Budny, in South Prussia, of property to 
the value of 100,000 roubles. 

26. Colonel Goeppel, Professor at the Academy 
of War in Berlin, who compelled the Lille " Croix " 
to pay a sum of 150,000 francs for calling the German 
army " a flood of Teutons." 

27. Colonel Zollern, commandant of the Imperial 
Army at Tchenstokhova in Poland, which he ordered 
to be pillaged and destroyed, in proof of which we 
have the text of the following proclamation made on 



CONCLUSION 223 

his arrival into this town : " Houses and quarters of 
the town the inhabitants of which are suspected of 
hostile acts towards the army will immediately be pulled 
down and destroyed. Women and children will not be 
allowed to leave these houses." 

28. Lieutenant- colonel Preuster, commandant at 
Kalich, in Poland, who ordered the massacres and 
destruction of the town. 

29. Colonel Hannapel, commander of the 8th 
Bavarian regiment, who gave the order to burn down 
the village of Nomeny. 

30. Modeiski, major of the German cuirassiers, 
who gave explicit instructions to hang all the Cossacks 
who were taken prisoners. 

31. The Hanoverian Lieutenant von Halden, who was 
found carrying dum-dum bullets. 

32. Captain Curtins, commander of the 3rd com- 
pany of the 1 1 2th German infantry regiment, who 
gave the order to make no more wounded prisoners. 

33. Commandant de Schaffenberg. A French heute- 
nant whom he found lying wounded on the field of 
battle in Louvain was robbed by him of 250 francs 
in gold. The commandant threatened the wounded 
man with his revolver. The French officer's orderly, 
who was lying wounded at his side, was also robbed. 

34. Major von Mehring, commandant at Valen- 
ciennes, who declared in a proclamation : "I have 
destroyed the whole town. The ancient town of 
Vickies, a place of ^000 inhabitants, no longer exists. The 
houses, town hall, and church have been annihilated." 

35. Major de Honved, in command of the 22nd 
Hungarian regiment, operating against the Russians. 
Addressing the recruits, he said : " When you have 
penetrated into Russia, grant no quarter and no mercy 
to old men, women, and children even if unborn." 



224 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

36. Lieutenant - colonel Blegen, who ordered the 
massacres and sack of Dinant. 

37. Major Botzwitz, who ordered his troops to 
kill the wounded and murder prisoners of war. 

38. Major Manteuffel, who ordered the destruction 
of Louvain and the horrible atrocities committed in it. 

39. Major Sommerfeld, who ordered the destruction 
of Termonde (in Belgium). 

40. Major Miiller, who ordered the destruction of 
Chalons- sur-Marne. 

41 and 42. Baron von W alder see and Major Ledebur, 
who broke open the writing-desks and jewel-cases of 
the chateau of Beaumont. 

43. Major von Billow, who ordered the massacres 
and destruction of Aerschot. 

44. Major Dreckmann. In a proclamation under 
date 6th September (Guvegnee, Belgium) : " The life 
of hostages depends on whether the inhabitants 
remain peaceful under all circumstances"; and that, 
if the first hostages are not replaced in forty-eight 
hours by others, the hostage runs the risk of death, and 
whoever does not obey the command " Lift your 
arms ! " is punishable with the penalty of death. 

45. Commandant Chrenzer, of the 26th Austro- 
Hungarian regiment, operating against the Serbians, 
who himself massacred prisoners and peasants who 
were brought to him. 

46. Commandant Reimond, of the 13th Austro- 
Hungarian corps, operating against the Serbians, 
who authorised the massacre of twenty-four peasants, 
the most part of them old folk of both sexes. 

47 and 48. The commandants of the nth and 4th 
detachments operating against the Serbians, who 
ordered their soldiers to annihilate everything Serbian. 



CONCLUSION 225 

49 and 50. Commandant Zerfert, of the 25th 
regiment, and Captain Zfail, of the 37th Austrian 
regiment, who caused houses in Serbia to be fired. 

51 and 52. Captain Kozda, of the 79th regiment, 
and Captain Vouitch, of the 21st Austrian regiment, 
who treated every Serbian soldier on the third con- 
script Hst as a franc-tireur and had him shot. 

53. Captain Zirgow, who authorised the pillage 
of Albert in France. 

54. The German officer, Walter Bloem, who was 
entrusted with the task of making an inquiry in 
Belgium (see the Cologne Gazette of the loth February, 
1915), and who confessed without any sense of shame 
that all that had happened was part of a system, the 
principle of which was that " the whole community 
to which a culprit belonged must pay the penalty, 
and that the innocent must suffer in their stead, not 
because a crime has been commited, but in order that 
a crime may not be committed again." 

55. Lieutenant Bertich, 29th Austro-Hungarian 
regiment operating against the Serbs, who killed at 
Lasnitza seven innocent peasants. 

56. Lieutenant Eberlein, who, in the Munchener 
Neueste Nachrichten told the story of the monstrous 
treachery to which he resorted to get into Saint Di6 — 
viz. using civihans as a screen for his troops. 

The above are German generals and officers whose 
names are known to us. There are many others. 
But the impossibility of naming them all does not 
prevent us from holding up to the execration of the 
civilised world, by printing their names here, those 
whom the reports supplied to us have mentioned. 

In addition to the two emperors, there are two 



226 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

marshals, four generals, six princes and nobles, five 
colonels, sixteen commandants and majors, thirteen 
other subaltern officers, written on the picture of 
horror, which we have sketched, and of which they 
and the whole of the German people are the individual 
and responsible authors. 

Is "German militarism" alone responsible? We 
say the German people, for it would be a mistake not 
to recognise as the authors of these crimes merely the 
army which performed them, the officers who tolerated 
them, approved them or ordered them — in a word, 
only the German military element known as " mili- 
tarism." For this mihtarism is in very truth the 
offspring of the whole nation, as well as of causes 
which have nothing mihtary about them — to wit, the 
teaching in the universities, which has been shaping 
it for a hundred years. 

The cult of force which to the German is the cult 
of brutal force imposed without mercy, goes down to 
the very roots of his thought. This must not be 
confounded with the spirit of violence to which, at 
all ages of the world, barbarian conquerors have given 
way. This cult proceeds from the fact that Germany 
considers herself the only nation worthy of the name, 
as the people par excellence upon whom, by law of 
nature, devolves the management of the modern 
world, around which it is the historic and philosophic 
duty of Europe to rally until absorbed in it, and until 
the civilised world is only one vast Germany in fact. 
When the German declares that force is superior to 
right, he does not mean force in itself, any force 
whatever, but his own force, which is right. 

Such are the notions taught by the members of the 
German cabinet, by its professors, by the universities 



CONCLUSION 227 

of Berlin, Munich, Halle, and Bonn for one hundred 
years. Such is the teaching promulgated in Fichte's 
famous '* Addresses to the German Nation," uttered 
in 1808. We shall easily understand that a nation 
which incarnates in itself all law, all history, all the 
future, all rational truth, all philosophic influence, 
hardly needs to think of the means by which it puts 
itself forward. From the relative point of view of 
human interest, as from the impartial point of view 
of eternal ideas, one thing alone matters and that is 
that Germany should triumph, and that Germanism 
should grow. 

To this there is only need to add one point, that this 
perverted refinement of thought, this sophism, grows 
and is developed among a nation which is brutal 
and barbarous among all others, so that the inclina- 
tions of flesh and blood are in it ready to respond to 
the suggestions of a corrupt philosophy. In Germany 
the sophist unchains the beast : the man of letters 
lets sHp the barbarian, or, as was forcibly said by Hugo, 
an old admirer of Germany, when he had become 
enlightened by the sinister glare of the events of 1870, 
the pedant is the ally of the trooper. The fusion of 
these two elements, the intimate union of German 
thought and of its military counterpart, welding 
together the whole of the classes intermediate between 
them : in a word, that is to say, the whole of Germany — 
all this must not be forgotten in any just appraisement 
of the foregoing events. So we see that in fact all 
Germany approves the actions of which we have 
just told the story, and the German intellectuals have 
taken the course of identifying themselves with them 
in their well-known but shameful " appeal to the 
civilised world." 



228 DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY 

Conclusion 

The theoretic responsibility for German cruelties, 
therefore, falls upon the military writers of Germany 
directly ; but fundamentally, and probing more deeply, 
upon her professors, historians, and philosophers. 
Then come the heads of the army, who were the first 
to carry out these teachings. 

But the verdict of mankind condemns the whole of 
Germany; for all her citizens, from the highest to 
lowest, appear in the eyes of the world, which was at 
first amazed and then indignant, as identifying them- 
selves with the work of devastation, murder, pillage, 
and cowardice by which, in the judgment of history, 
the war that Germany launched upon the world will 
be noted. 

We, at least, who are neutral of nationality and 
impartial in judgment, lump them all together, in the 
feeling of contempt and of disgust which they have 
roused in our indignant breast, and in the stern but 
just judgment which our reason, bitterly disappointed 
as it has been, has meted out to them. 



THE END 



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